ANN ARBOR, Mich. – When I was a kid, a hardcover copy of Love Story – now being staged by Ann Arbor Musical Theatre Works – peeked out from my parents’ living room bookshelves. Being a voracious reader (and a budding junior romantic), I asked my mom if I could read it. She said yes, and I gobbled it up, feeling like I’d been handed a ticket to the world of adults. And indeed, the slim volume was packed-to-bursting with family drama, romance, humor, sex, and tragedy, which is probably why it had previously been such a huge hit in 1970, both as a novel and a film.
Erich Segal’s iconic story focuses on a love affair between Harvard hockey player Oliver Barrett IV (Kevin Kaminski) and a baker’s daughter studying piano at Radcliffe, Jenny Cavilleri (Colby Cesaro). Oliver’s wealthy father (Jared Hoffert) doesn’t approve of the match, so when the pair decide to marry, Oliver is disinherited, leaving the couple to financially fend for themselves. Jenny works as a teacher while Oliver attends law school, and when a lucrative law career in Manhattan beckons, it seems the couple’s sacrifices have paid off. When they can’t seem to get pregnant, though, Jenny’s blood test reveals that she has a serious illness and limited time.
I would have said “spoiler alert,” but the musical – with a book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, and music and additional lyrics by Howard Goodall – begins at Jenny’s funeral. The show’s creators obviously assumed that many will come already knowing how the story ends, so they frame it instead as an opportunity to focus on how these characters reach this point. READ THE REST HERE