Cheating. Lying. Unplanned pregnancy. Loving your best friend when he has, evidently, no romantic interest in you. None of us want to get caught up in the middle of any of this drama. Through Entr’acte Studios’ attempt to teach the audience how to deal with Lovelash – the repercussions of an unforeseen break-up – they inevitably teach the audience the very opposite: what never to do when in a relationship. Ever.
The Toronto Premiere of Lovelash, a musical written by Terence Vince and directed by Brandon Gillespie, transports you back in time, to the 90s, to explore the quirkiest characters, the cheesiest tunes and some graceful, yet outlandish, dance numbers.
Carter (Chris Beck) plans on popping the question to his cold-hearted, self-absorbed girlfriend, Oli (Michelle Nash). Nat (Alison Blair) has been in love with Carter for years, yet is unable to spill the beans about her feelings. Dan (Dave Miller) is mourning, yet trying not to mourn, his dead wife, so that he may date another woman. Trey (Aaron Wolfe) has an obsession with all women, even though he has his own. The situations these eccentric characters find themselves in change several times throughout the musical, only to include more break-ups, more arguments, and some “random outbursts of R&B songs”, all leading up to one inherently melodramatic message: why do we need a romantic partner in order to feel important?
The minimalistic set design by Brian De La Franic worked successfully, allowing for smooth transitions from scene to scene. Bar tables and chairs were transformed into beds within seconds, and these set pieces were used effortlessly throughout various dance numbers, as well. The costumes by Erin Fitzsimmons accurately depict the 90s style, bringing me right back to my “fashionable” childhood: skorts, sweatbands, and colours that should never mix together (thanks, Mom).
The choreography by Nicole Passmore, was absolutely side-splitting, as the ensemble maintained the same clownish disposition throughout every dance. Whether they were performing a sexy dance for Trey, or crawling on the floor in pain alongside the lovestruck (and love-lashed) characters, they were hilarious, engaging and a pleasure to watch.
My only disappointment fell within certain aspects of Drew Chale’s sound design. Static, to me, is like nails on a chalkboard and there were too many of those instances for my poor ears to handle. While the music was catchy and fun, it was far too loud, preventing the audience, at times, from hearing the words that were being sung by the performers.
Aside from this, if you need a good laugh, Lovelash is the musical to see. This show does not take itself too seriously; that’s the best part about it. It’s a farce. It’s supposed to be funny. And it does its job magnificently.
Lovelash Musical is running at Tranzac Club until February 8. Tickets are 25$, with a portion of sales going to Sheena’s Place. For more information visit www.entractestudios.com or call 647-883-4926.