The feel of the 1970’s mixed with romantic comedy is what to expect in Brown Paper Box Co.’s production of THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG. The audience is transported back in time immediately. The colors of the stage, lights, props, etc. set the tone perfectly. Even before the show begins, the playlist of 70’s hits (Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell”) booms over the speakers as you prepare to embark on this adorable, romantic journey.
Simple Plot Focuses on Journey of Falling in Love
The story focuses on a renowned songwriter named Vernon and his new collaborator, Sonia. They meet while working together and fall in love. There are, of course, obstacles. All the conventions of the modern romantic comedy are present here. Plus the audience is treated to a beautiful score by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager.
The story may be conventional, but the joy of watching the love unfold is anything but stale. Vernon and Sonia are opposites who cannot seem to get enough of each other. If you enjoy movies like When Harry Met Sally… The Notebook or Notting Hill, you will love this show.
Brown Paper Box Co. Shines With Intimacy
The space is well suited for this small, intimate show. Since the entirety of the cast only includes Vernon, Sonia and human manifestations of aspects of their minds, a cozy venue is perfect. No audience member is ever more than a few steps away from the action. This makes you feel a part of this tumultuous, yet endearing relationship. Moments of sweetness move seamlessly into outbursts of frustration, and we are always part of it.
Dan Gold portrays Vernon with brilliant neuroses. His vocal talent is clearly bigger than this room but chooses a more gentle and realistic approach when giving voice to these beautiful songs. Carmen Risi makes you fall in love with Sonia right along with Vernon. She is vivacious, funny and sweet. The ensemble really brings the comedy and mood to this piece. Representing things like “ego,” “skepticism” and “soul,” these actors rarely have actual lines but manage to make the audience laugh and heighten the emotion of any given scene.
The show is dripping with human emotion and will certainly make everyone remember the feeling of falling in love, getting hurt, and not being able to get someone out of our mind.
It has all the ingredients for a perfect theatre date night.
Photos by Zach Dries
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Top Pick For: Musical Theatre Lovers/Romantic Comedy Lovers
Not recommended for: Those looking for something new/Pessimists
July 21 - August 20, 2017
Fri, Jul 28 - Sun, July 30, 2017
Thu, Aug 3, 2017 - Sun, Aug 6, 2017
Thu, Aug 10, 2017 - Sun, Aug 13, 2017
Thu, Aug 17, 2017 - Sun, Aug 20, 2017
Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago
Online at www.brownpaperbox.org