“I DO! I DO!” A MUSICAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE UPS AND DOWNS OF MARRIAGE


By Bonnie Goldberg

When one recites wedding vows, to honor, to cherish, in sorrow and in happiness, to promise to love for the rest of your lives, you can rarely anticipate all that might happen along the way until “til death do us part.” For Michael and Agnes, five decades of marriage, beginning in the year of our Lord 1898, include all the joys and pains that two lives intertwined can experience.

Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt penned this charming musical in 1966, “I Do! I Do!,”  setting to music “The Four Poster,” and the Westport Country Playhouse is offering this newly revised version, like a frothy strawberry ice cream soda, until Saturday, August 28, for your summer entertainment pleasure.

With the affirmation of “I do,” Michael (Lewis Cleale) and Agnes (Kate Baldwin) pledge themselves to years of devotion.  Through the adjustments of living together and sharing one bed, with two episodes of childbirth and one incident of infidelity, the couple learn to make their marriage work.

Maybe Agnes doesn’t have total respect for Michael’s career as a romance novelist and perhaps Michael believes Agnes spends his hard earned money in frivolous ways, but they are still committed to each other.  As the years pass, Michael realizes “I Love My Wife” and they both acknowledge “Nobody’s Perfect.”  By the end of Act 1, they clearly agree “The Honeymoon Is Over.”

The children grow up and eventually leave the nest, forcing the parents to face some hard truths and make the delightful discovery that they are still in love.  The sentimental “My Cup Runneth Over” says it beautifully.  Susan H. Schulman directs this talented pair through tricycle years, all the way to senior citizen moments, on a lovely set designed by Wilson Chin.

For tickets ($40-60), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off route 1, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Wednesday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Learn intimately that rocky road is more than just the name of an ice cream flavor as Agnes And Michael survive and thrive with a pillow that emphatically states “God Is Love.”

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