I Do! I Do! – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Did you know that Nevada has the highest divorce rates in the country and Iowa the lowest? Do you realize every 36 seconds a divorce occurs somewhere in the United States and that we have the third highest rate of divorce in the world? While these statistics are discouraging, there is some hope. Conversation, compromise and commitment as well as love, luck and laughter can play a part. Also Branford’s Legacy Theatre has a splendid and fun two hour course in how to survive the roller coaster ride that is marriage in “I Do! I Do!” A Musical About Marriage, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, playing romantically until Saturday, May 14.

Michael and Agnes, the anxious groom and bride, exchange their vows and then face their first night as husband and wife together. Discovering a pillow embroidered with “God is Love” left by Agnes’s mother on their new four poster bed pleases her but not so much her new spouse. They sing “Together Forever,” ready to share the sorrows and happiness of their new life, as long as they both shall live.

Is their marriage a paradise? As Michael proclaims “I Love My Wife,” they are off to a great start. He writes romantic novels to support the family as they both adjust to new family members Michael Jr. and Elizabeth. When they sing “My Cup Runneth Over With Love,” the merry bloom is still fresh on the rose. When Agnes shops to excess and calls Michael’s books dull, they are clearly changing and the tune “Nobody’s Perfect” says it all. He is now a man of some importance and women express their admiration much to Agnes’s dismay. She retaliates to this threat with an adorable routine as “Flaming Agnes.” Will their marriage survive a whiff of adultery? Is their love strong enough to weather the snows of yesterday? Do they still love and need each other? Al Bundonis’ Michael and Stephanie Stiefel Williams’ Agnes are wonderful as they handle all the curve balls that life flings their way, under the clever direction of Kevin Michael Reed and sweet choreography of Jen Buonfiglio and Company.

For tickets ($35-60), call the Legacy Theatre, 128 Thimble Island Road, Stony Creek, Branford at 203-315-1901 or online at www.LegacyTheatreCT.org. Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Masks are required for anyone not vaccinated. On Mother’s Day enjoy a concert by Broadway’s Ali Ewoldt, a series of one act plays May 19-21 by Kimberly Squires and Allan Zeller and two weekends of Bobby Darin tunes by Chaz Esposito May 20-28 as well as plays for children about Dragons and Tacos. The film That Funny Feeling will air on May 22, starring Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin and Donald O’Connor. So much to see and enjoy.

Get ready to catch the bouquet or a congratulations new baby cigar as Michael and Agnes promise to love and cherish each other for at least five decades or until death do them part.