What I Did For Love – The Musical
Created by Dorothy Marcic
Directed by John DiDonna
It’s No Mystery Series at Sleuths’ Dinner Theatre, Orlando Florida
Back when pop music was all about falling in and out of love, Phil Spector and the Brill Building sound filled the airwaves with a candy colored customized view of ready love and quick if painful breakups. I suspect the topics haven’t changed all that much in the past 50 years, but the narrow bandwidth A. M. radio sound has – today’s arrangements are much louder and busier and harder to hum along with. Writer Dorothy Marcic creates a well structured mash up of the genre, never singing more than a bar or two of any song but capturing the sound and feel of a time we wee all younger, and perhaps not even born yet.
The singers are archetypes – on the female side there’s The Girl Who Can Have Anyone (Sarah-Lee Dobbs as Desiree Sue), The Girl Looking For Mr. Right (Melissa Mason as Hope) and The Girl Who’s Not Sure There IS A Mr. Right (Elizabeth Dean as Goldie). The guys divide out as the Tough Guy (Joel Warren as Buster), The Smooth Player (Rusty Smith as Bill) and the Sad Little Geek (Ian Admonson as Yale.) It’s impossible to assign song titles to any of the performances, in this fluid and dynamic show everything is a duet or a trio or an ensemble that blends one song into the next. The cast dances through some of the numbers, with the choreography (Casey Saxon) carefully dodging the patrons tables and tightly spaced chairs. The only issue with the staging is the audience area isn’t well lit and the performance can get lost in the darkness in the back of the room. And if your at a front table in the Sleuths’ dining room, expect to do some frequent head turning, and please stay seated as to not be bowled over by “Where did Our Love Go?” or “She’s Not There.” It’s interactive, even if that’s not the selling point.
Unlike some early “It’s No Mystery” performances, you get dinner with this show, and while the menu is a bit limited, the food is quite good. The show stops to allow you to eat, so you’ll be out late with the 8:30 starting time and the desert tray. Fortunately, it doesn’t feel long and never drags with the song excerpts limited to fair use length. It’s what Love has come to today – nostalgic romance coupled with a 21st century attention span. All that’s missing is someone to Twitter about it.
For more information on Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Shows, please visit http://www.sleuths.com