By Marlene S. Gaylinn

“I Do! O Do!” is a funny, sentimental musical about the ups and downs of an average, successful marriage.  Based on Dutch author Jan de Hartog’s 1940’s play, “The Four Poster,” this comedy is sweet, it’s frothy, and it’s a perfect summer confection that everyone can thoroughly enjoy without gaining extra calories!

The play was originally optioned by David Merrick and turned into a musical by dancer/choreographer Gower Champion, lyricist Tom Jones and composer Harvey Schmidt.  The show, which received Tony Awards, premiered in 1966 with Mary Martin and Robert Preston.  Carol Burnett and Rock Hudson were among the others who played the married couple later on.

The Westport production, Directed by Susan Schulman, Choreographed by Michael Lichtefeld with Music Director Joel Fram, features Tony Award-nominee Kate Baldwin and highly acclaimed Lewis Cleale.  The good-looking couple with excellent voices, tenderly sings, and dances us through this sentimental journey through life.  With the help of intelligent voice-modulation, body language and numerous costume changes – down to authentic underwear and sleeping garments of changing periods of time, elegantly designed by Devon Painter, the couple miraculously age 50 years before our eyes.   Even though sexual innocence, conventional male and female roles and attitudes towards marriage have changed in our society, we are taken by the couple’s amusing awkwardness in their marriage bed and their final farewell to their cozy, love nest.

Plays through Sept.4       Box Office: 203-227-4177

This review appears in “On Connecticut Theatre” August/ 2010

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