GORE BAY—Gore Bay Theatre’s production of ‘Love Letters’ by A. R. Gurney opened last week with a sold out dinner tatre sponsored by the Gore Bay Rotary Club. The fantastic roast beef meal was followed by the wonderful performance featuring Jack and Betsy Clark.
“Love Letters” is a two character play where the actors sit in armchairs and read from letters and poses many challenges to the actors and directors. What is that makes this production of “Love Letters” so completely mesmerizing? Not only is the writing poetic and poignant but the production is so simply and beautifully staged.
The play explores the experiences of the privileged WASP social set of the 1930’s to 1980’s. The two characters, childhood friends, maintain a many-faceted relationship for their entire lives that is heartfelt, humorous, and heart-wrenching.
Melissa, who is impulsive, neurotic, feisty, rebellious, seductive and often conflicted, is played to perfection by Betsy Clark. She captures the humour, the shifting emotions and the pain so beautifully.
Andrew, who is very proper, conventional, steadfast, shy and obsessed with writing is played by Jack Clark and he gives another stellar performance. His facial expressions were priceless.
Their correspondence for 50 years, from childhood to later years, in letters sometimes tense, sometimes romantic and sometimes angry, tells a story that is amusing and deeply moving.
I loved the simple, elegant set, the soft focused lighting and colours which evoked the emotions of the characters; the sensitive and intelligent story-telling; but most of all, I loved seeing Jack and Betsy Clark together on stage. It was a captivating evening of theatre, one that will not be forgotten. I can understand why Time magazine called it “one of the four or five best American plays of the 80s.”
Don’t forget about “Love and Larceny,” Gore Bay Theatre’s other summer production which I gave a great review of in last week’s paper. It’s an evening of one-act plays that is one of Gore Bay’s most hilarious productions ever and features its largest summer theatre cast including Lori Evans, Taylor Geertsema, Deborah Graham, Shannon McMullan, Carol Robertson, John Robertson, Kyleen Robertson, Tammy Robinson and Will Smith.
How fortunate and unique we are that in a community of this size we are able to see two terrific productions back to back.
Not many communities in Ontario get this opportunity. Ticket information is available in the advertisement in this issue.