Personals July 2000

Tuesday, 11 July, 2000

"Personals" has book and lyrics by Marta Kauffman and David Crane (the creators of the successful TV series 'Friends') along with Seth Friedman. The music is by William K Dreskin, Joel Phillip Friedman, Seth Friedman, Stephen Schwartz, Alan Menken and Michael Skloff.

The story concerns characters from all walks of life who are looking for love, but unable to find it. They write to the lonely-hearts columns in search of romance. This musical revue follows each of them with their funny and often sad experiences. There is the couple who befriends a dwarf whom becomes a big part of their lives. There are amusing sketches of people making a 30 second dating video, and hilarious scenes of a man who is learning how to chat up and date a woman by using a self help tape, which by the way, is one of my favourite sketches! The whole show, which lasts around 2 hours, is full of these amusing scenes that make this show exceedingly great entertainment. And to add to the enjoyment it is also a musical! I mean this show could almost stand on its own without the music, so with the music you are certainly on a rollercoaster ride, particularly with the ditty tunes and witty lyrics.

The cast moulded together very well when I saw the show in Hampstead, and with half the original cast back again the new cast members slip into the roles beautifully creating an ensemble that click perfectly on stage producing strong and solid performances. All the cast stand out in their many varied roles, but the one that really excels for me is Martin Callaghan, who not only has a fine voice but also radiates warmth, particularly when describing his relationship with the dwarf. But as I said, the whole cast, Cameron Blakely, Marcus Allen Cooper, Carmen Cusack, Christina Fry and Vicki Simon, all produce their own particular magic.

"Personals" is a fun show that makes for a fantastic evening's entertainment and great value for money. Don't miss this one!!

(Darren Dalglish)

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