It feels pretty apt that as I sit and reflect on Pinot Productions latest musical offering, I Love You Because, I am sipping a sweet, warm milky coffee. The show maintains quirky references to coffee throughout, thus encapsulating the perils of the New York dating scene through the modern drink of choice (rather like a certain American sitcom we all know and love!) I may as well come right out and say it; I love You Because is pretty much Friends The Musical…and who doesn’t love a bit of Friends!
The cast was small but the six actors managed to fill the space with their solid performances. Each character was well cast; especially Holly Julier as the free-spirited Marcy and Annie Kirkman as the uptight Diana. Julier was particularly stand out in her role with by far the most powerful singing voice and the ability to capture the audience with her whimsical performance throughout. Similarly, Amber-Rose Summer’s stole the opportunity to stun the audience with her fantastic belt and played the role of “NYC woman” to the best of the characters potential.
One of the elements of the piece that steered Slazman and Cunningham’s musical from the cliché it could have become was the imaginative scenic elements. In this production the set is created by large wooden packing crates. Here the wooden panels were as exposed as the young hearts onstage. As someone who is skirting round the edges of being superstitious, the presence of so much wood gave each of the depicted relationships an air of “touch wood! I hope this one works out!” which for me was fun.
I had never been to the Theatro Technis before, and in some ways it is a lovely venue for Fringe theatre; it is small, intimate and architecturally interesting. However I feel that the high ceilings could be the cause of some acoustic issues, with the music from the band sometimes overpowering the voices onstage. Nonetheless, I was pleased to see live accompaniment. The band were talented and in my opinion click track is cheating! This generated a full and professional performance, which is more than I can say for some West End shows!
I Love You Because is both light and gratifying; an easy evenings entertainment that will cost you just a fraction of a West End theatre ticket…the perfect pre valentines treat. There is a wealth of talent on display in this production from both the cast and the live musicians, making the show a joy to experience.
If I Love You Because were a coffee, it would be a hazelnut latte or a caramel macchiato; sweet, enjoyable and easy to stomach.
The show is running at the Theatro Technis until the 8th February 2014.
For further information on Pinot Productions, you can follow them on twitter @pinotproduction