Wednesday May 24th 2017

“They’re Playing Our Song”

Recommended Often, I am asked why I travel to the outer counties to see plays when there are so many theaters in Chicago. I always tell those who question me that the venues in the suburbs are designed to bring quality productions to these areas in order to allow those who live in areas like Munster, Lincolnshire,Waukegan, OakBrook and St. Charles ( with Aurora joining in this month) live theater that deserves to be seen. Many of our local actors enjoy bringing their talents there as well. Pheasant Run Resort in St.Charles, which has been home to several theater companies over the years has changed its name to Fox Valley Repertory -live theater at Pheasant Run and their current show, “They’re Playing Our Song”, an intimate love story musical depicting the lives of  Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager, written by Neil Simon with music by Hamlisch and lyrics by Sager, is a great way to set the tone for what is to come. To begin their new image, they have brought in one of our area’s brightest young couples , real life husband and wife, Michael Mahler and Dara Cameron, both powerful in handling these roles.

The story is presented on a cleverly designed set (Chelsea M. Warren) and directed by Jonathan Berry as we meet our award winning composer, ( Mahler who has the unique qualities of a Matthew Broderick and Robert Morse blended of course with his own Mahlerisms and is a fine musician as well) as he teams up with lyricist Sonia ( the adorable Cameron). This is an “opposites attract”  couple personified! They both have their hang-ups and one of hers is he ex, Leon, who is never seen but has more minutes in the show than most minor roles ever have. Sonia cannot break it ff with him which makes her coming together with Vernon impossible. She also brings to the table the fact that individuals are not really one person, having egos and souls etc, so each of our characters have “other” beings who are onstage, singing, dancing and changing sets. The “girls” are played by Madeline Duffy-Feins,Sara Sevigny and Leah Morrow and “The Boys” by Rodrigo Ignacio Cruz, Doug Pawlik and Matthew Sherbach. These are six quality performers who add to the flow of the story. While these are   not characters, but a part of our leads, each performer manages to bring something special and individualistic to their piece. In fact, one might say that it is the “Boys” and “Girls” that hold the keys to bringing this couple into harmony with each other as the curtain falls ( just a phrase as there is no actual curtain).

The music in the show is not the key to the storyline with the exception of the title song, which you will find yourself singing on the way home, but it is filled with lyrics that do add to the characters more than the story. As we  watch these two people’s lives change, we see that in the long run, they are good for each other ,but question for how long it might work. They are strong individuals with goals that are not always cohesive. The show ends on a high note and I for one would have liked to see the title song used in the curtain calls with the ensemble getting into the act as well.

“They’re Playing Our Song” will continue at Pheasant Run Resort located at 4051 E. Main Street in St.Charles through October 9th with performances as follows:

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.  Thursdays- September 15th and October 6th at 2 p.m.

Tickets prices range from $29-$39 ( a true bargain for a show of this quality) and dinner shows are available as low as $49. To order your tickets call the box office at 630-584-6342 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. Additional nfo can be obtained at www.foxvalleyrep.com

 

There is plenty of free parking at Pheasant Run, some quaint little shops on the grounds and the area is surrounded with dining spots. The trip is worth it for the show and gas prices are lower, so plan accordingly, and fill up your tank after an enjoyable evening of Live Theater in beautiful St. Charles.

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