Friday, July 24, 2015

Review of Kokandy Productions' Loving Repeating

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Loving Repeating. It was adapted from the writings of Gertrude Stein by Frank Galati. The music was by Stephen Flaherty and the lyrics were by Gertrude Stein. The music direction was by Kory Danielson. It was directed by Allison Hendrix and it was choreographed by Andrea Louise Soule. It was about this woman, Gertrude Stein (Caron Buinis), who was reflecting back on when she was younger (Young Gertrude was played by Amanda Giles) and about her decisions about what she wanted to do to spend the time. The things that are important to her are her wife Alice (Emily Goldberg), her friends, and her poetry. With her poetry, she is trying to make something different and new and exciting. She is trying to make people see the rose, not just think of the word "rose." I thought this was a great show. It was very sweet and touching and there were some funny, strange non sequitur moments that were also really awesome. I thought the music was really great. I think it is a cool idea to make her poetry into a musical because her poems have a beat and repeat just like music.

Even though this play is sometimes confusing, you still enjoy it because you see that the confusing parts are inside jokes Gertrude has with Alice. I have inside jokes with my friends too. Inside jokes aren't trying to make other people feel bad; they are about connecting with the other person and things that they find funny that other people might not. Like there was this one song about cows and every time they said "Moo" Gertrude and Alice would laugh, which is their inside joke and I found it sweet and funny and I wish I could have met them. There is another inside joke that was not really a joke, just an inside thing for themselves, where they would say, "You are my honey honeysuckle and I'm your bee." It is kind of like a play on words on their names and pet names. Like "honey" might be Gertrude's nickname and Alice B. Toklas is Bee. It was great to have some inside jokes in a show that at first you didn't get, but as time went by you started to understand them more. Which is basically like actually spending time with someone. I think that Gertrude Stein would have liked that because that was basically the purpose of her poetry.

There were two songs "Men" and "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene" that were not about Alice and Gertrude exactly, but about the people around them. In "Men," at first you just think it is a bunch of men (Andrew Lund, Jake Morrissy, and George Toles) sitting at a table singing back up, but then it turns out that they all have deep secrets. They all are in love with each other but then what happens is when one part of a pair that had fallen in love falls in love with another person, the other part of the pair gets hurt. It is all about that. It is told in a dramatically simple way. It is dramatic because he breaks someone's heart, but they don't have a big duel in the Spanish restaurant. They don't even say the names of the people; it just happens and you follow the story. It isn't super detailed or anything, but you get the sense of the story by their acting and singing and movements. Miss Furr (Sarah Hayes) and Miss Skeene (Stephanie Stockstill) had names, so they were more introduced then the men, but the thing is you still didn't get to know how they met. You just knew their names and that they were learning how to sing and that they were in love. I thought it was pretty cool to try to fill in their story. You don't know anything about the characters really, but they have a big part in the story Gertrude is telling, so it makes you think they might have been their friends.

There is a song called "Loving Repeating" which is about all of Gertrude's passions. Alice was the loving and her poetry was the repeating. But she also loves her poetry, which is repeating. You have to say I love you all the time and show you love someone, so repeating is important to have love, so the person won't think your love is fading. There are also other songs about loving and repeating. I thought the song "Kiss My Lips She Did" was really pretty. It is about loving and repeating because it repeats the same sentences over and over again, but it is all about love. All the songs are repetitive but in a good way. Gertrude Stein has an amazing wife that she loves and her poems are always repeating so that is why they called this musical Loving Repeating.

People who would like this show are people who like poetry, amazing love stories, and cows. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. I thought it was touching, funny, and a great show for people who like beautiful stories about finding the person you love.

Photos: Micahel Brosilow

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