I Love You Because


I was lucky to have seen "Bye Bye Birdie" last summer at theater under the stars; I loved the choreography, the acting, and especially the directing. When I learned that Shel Piercy directed this modern day musical love story (the tagline) I eagerly awaited the dimming lights. One aspect of "Bye Bye Birdie" that I loved was the use of film in the background of the sets to help either propel the story or to help in creating an atmosphere. He used this same technique during "I Love You Because," mostly to assist in creating the different sets, as this was a rather small stage area to work with. Piercy's hard work paid off in another triumph in my eyes.

Sayer Roberts played the role of Austin Bennett, a conservative greeting card writer/poet. I know it's funny to think of a republican poet, but I'm sure they are out there. The lungs on this boy were profound yet I found his emotional range to be slightly two dimensional. I'm not inferring that the guy can't act, only that his acting is not yet as developed as his voice. His chemistry with Erin Palm, whom played his love interest in a woman named Marcy was astounding, they played off each other perfectly. Erin's voice was another powerhouse that I was pleasantly pleased to have been witness to, it is no wonder that Sayer and Erin were matched up for the production. Victor Hunter and Harper Smith played the other half of the coin in this musical comedy as Jeff and Diana, two friends with benefits, which of course gets complicated in the end. They were a hilarious duo that I hope to see again in the future. The play would not have been complete without the Aaron Lau and Sheryl Anne McMillan as the NYC man and woman. They play the bartenders, baristas and landlords. They were absolutely side splitting at times.

The music was spot on with the theme of the show with the piano played behind the screen by Kerry O'Donovan. The use of music in the space must have been difficult based on the size of the stage, I found that during the more illustrious numbers the music blended with the voices and it was hard to pick out any particular aspect of the song, it became muddled. This however only happened twice and by no means takes away from the show.

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