From her off-stage opening line to her brilliant closing line at the piano, Theresa Tova is mesmerizing and seducing.
Tova is playing Lea, an aging ex-courtesan, who takes the audience on an elaborate journey through life, love, sex, growing old, age-appropriate dressing, and scarves. Her dialogue is brilliantly written (by Sky Gilbert) and is putty in Tova’s hands as she savours each word, unhurriedly, taking the audience from laughter to deep contemplation to laughter smoothly and skillfully. Easily one of the best performances of the year, do not miss it.
She (and the audience) are distracted by the cute piano player who reminds her of her one true love – Cheri. Played by Dustin Peters, (who also wrote the music and accompanies Lea on the baby grand), the pianist acts as a competent foil for Lea, never revealing much, but giving plenty of material for her to springboard into yet another enthralling subject. After all, make no mistake – the night is all about Lea, she wouldn’t have it any other way!
The staging is simple, with a couch and a decanter in what one imagines to be an overly ornate drawing room, and a beautiful shiny black piano. There is no need for anything else. The words provide all the imagery needed.
This play (notice I didn’t say musical), illustrates my personal favourite way of incorporating music into theatre. Well written dialogue, interspersed with a few well-written songs that are allowed to breathe uncompelled to move the plot along, and some very well-played piano adding drama at key points. Perfect. See this show.
A few memorable lines for those that saw the show: “then double it”, “pianist”, “g-string”. On until July 15, 2018. Tickets.