THE LOVE LIST by Canada’s prolific writer of romantic comedies Norm Foster is a play I wasn’t familiar with. The emphasis is definitely on comedy in this unlikely script. Bill, a rather dull statistician, and his best friend Leon, a mediocre novelist, make a list of 10 desirable characteristics for Bill’s ideal woman. When Justine shows up at Bill’s door both plot and character begin to take multiple unexpected and very funny twists. I don’t want to give away any of the many surprises, so I’ll only say all three characters remain surprisingly three-dimensional in the midst of the comic mayhem of Act II.
Designer Anthony Krivitski has created a good realistic living room with an attached kitchen, complete with baseball memorabilia and an interesting wine rack. He’s dressed the set with piles of newspapers and box files, in addition to the multitude of props provided by Sharon Reynolds. Rachel Budin’s lighting is perfect for a comedy. The costumes designed by Patti Pawliczak are excellent, especially Bill’s dorky shirts and Justine’s elbow-length daisy-trimmed rubber gloves.
The cast are all good actors with good comic timing. Bill Saunders is very good as the novelist Leon, an unrepentant ladies’ man. He has one of my favorite lines. After hearing a rather graphic description from Bill he responds, “. . . I want to take out my brain and boil it to get rid of that image.”
As the mysterious Justine, Rachel Cornish is splendid and also has the longest legs I’ve seen since FOLLIES. Her lecture to Leon is terrific and all her twists in Act II are hilarious and beautifully done. Jarel Davidow is excellent as the hapless Bill. His Act I story of Justine is quite touching and he manages to keep Bill believable throughout his emotional roller coaster. Mr. Davidow is especially good at befuddlement.
Artistic Director Terry Rabine has done a nice job of staging and directing THE LOVE LIST. I especially like his music choices. He’s helped his actors maintain their three-dimensional aspects so that the many laughs come from situation and character rather than just from jokey lines. The play is a good choice for light summer entertainment. By the way, this intimate theatre has very good sight lines and the food is excellent.
On a scale of one to five the Lake George Dinner Theatre production of THE LOVE LIST gets four and two- thirds steamboats. For North Country Public Radio I’m Connie Meng.