Theatre-901 Explores Differences Between Love and Friendship in Intimate Performance of “Romance/Romance” “

In the living room of a vacation house, two friends, played by Henry Crater ’20 and Emma Chatson ’18, dance around, passing a bottle of liquor back and forth and singing at the top of their lungs about how it’s not too late to be thinking about affairs. The two friends, both of whose spouses and children are asleep in the same house, finally collapse onto the floor at the end of the song, laughing.

Director Makenna Marshall ’18 said, “[This] song, ‘It’s Not Too Late,’ is a personal favorite. I think I fell in love with that song the most. It has so much energy; it’s so classically ’80s.”

The scene is part of the Broadway musical “Romance/Romance,” which will be put on this Thursday night at 7:45  p.m. and Friday night at 8:30 p.m. in the Theatre Classroom. The play will be performed by the Theatre-901 class.

Marshall said, “It’s an emotional roller coaster.  And I think unlike the flashiness of ‘Ragtime’ and the costumes of ‘Hairspray’, it’s a bit more intimate and, it’s a bit more real. I think that students at [Andover] don’t get a lot of theatre like that, so I’m excited to bring this to them.”

“Romance/Romance” is a 1988 Tony-Award-winning musical that tells a story about the complications between two couples portrayed by Crater ad Jenni Lawson ’19, as well as Chatson and John Moreland ’18. The two families take a vacation in the Hamptons.

Crater said, “There’s these two couples: me and Barb, and Lenny and Monica, and we go on vacation in this beach house, and things get a little crazy. There’s this buildup of sexual tension between me and Monica, and we stay up really late and talk about our marriages.”

According to Crater, the play is unique in its intimacy, being a small, hour-long production with only four actors. The closeness of the cast and smaller stage bring the audience right into the setting along with the actors as their story unfolds and takes the viewers along the emotional journey of the characters.

Crater said, “I like that it’s a small space, and that it’s four of us, because I feel like I really get to know my character better and I get to know everyone else’s character. So it’s really easy to focus on the interactions between us.”

Marshall said, “I think it makes it intimate in a space like this. It really brings people in, and we were hoping to actually bring people into the living room. So we have the chandelier, we have the windows, we have the stairs. I think having only four people and being in such an intimate space really helped people to feel the characters and emotions.”

The play addresses several issues about love and marriage and the complications they involve. It presents a powerful message to the audience and urges them to consider the role of these issues in their own lives.

Marshall said, “Love is complicated, and love isn’t easy. [I hope people] think about what you have instead of what you necessarily want. And I also think it’s about the relationships and friendships between men and women and how complicated they are. I hope people take that away from the show. And that you shouldn’t go to a summer home with your spouse and then proceed to try to cheat on them in the same house.”