Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Loving "Loving Repeating"

Looking for a unique way to express your love? Are you a hopeless romantic? Maybe not? Well, "Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein" (now playing at the Center Theatre in Long Beach) could be what you're looking for!

I have to admit that I'm not the hopeless romantic type, but when I saw "Loving Repeating", I actually cried at the end. Who could've thought that an abstract musical, in which the lyrics are repetitions of Gertrude Stein's writings, would evoke such emotion? With the brilliant voices of the cast, and the playful choreography, the International City Theatre pulled it off.

The musical revolves around the relationship between Stein and Alice B. Toklas along with other side stories of love and loss, and an occasional random story (like the woman who had a cow). The stage floor (and you have to be there to really see it) reflects Stein's art collection, and the heart shape branches give a just the right amount of feminine touch, but still keeping the stage as a simple background to the high energy of the cast.

Just like the relationship between Stein and Toklas, the show was both conservative and yet....not. The tunes were catchy and easy to listen to, while the words were simple and yet... deep. The repetition of lyrics really emphasized the theme ("Loving Repeating") and allowed the audience to be active in thinking, understanding and relating to the characters.

A true LA experience, "Loving Repeating" is a unique and romantic way to celebrate Valentine's Day.

-Tiina Vuorenmaa, staff writer

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