REVIEW: ‘I Do, I DO’ There’s nothing like a happy marriage
The first play to inaugurate The Old Globe’s new Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre (formerly the Cassius Carter) is the musical “I Do! I Do!” A tight classic that quickly journey’s through 50 years of a couple’s marriage, “I Do! I Do!” stars real-life married couple Paige Davis and Patrick Page and runs until Dec. 20.
Beginning in the late 1800s, the play opens with Agnes and Michael in full wedding attire who descend on their bedroom with gaiety and a song or two. Michael is beyond buoyant while dancing around the room and singing “I Love My Wife.” Agnes, acting shy and reserved – an appropriate demeanor for a bride in those days – is slowly realizing there are now expectations about her new situation. Davis effectively demonstrates this with her lovely voice in “Something Has Happened.”
This theater arena has always turned a challenge of staging a play without changing sets or scenery into creative and alluring productions. The new intimate 250-seat arena-style theatre with its fully-trapped stage also has a small area near the stage that can be used as a small orchestra pit. For “I Do! I Do!” the addition of piano player Ben Toth and Tim Christensen performing the music to the many songs throughout the show enhanced the great performances.
Based on “The Fourposter” by Jan de Hartog, “I Do! I Do!” with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt (creators of The Fantasticks), enjoyed a 560-performance run on Broadway. Staring some iconic performers – Mary Martin, Robert Preston, Carol Burnett, Rock Hudson – during its run the play received seven Tony Award nominations.
Paige Davis and Patrick Page hit every nuance of their 50-year relationship perfectly. Page has exhibited a wonderful bravo performance in many productions including Cyrano in “Cyrano de Bergerac” and Malvolio in “Twelfth Night” in the Globe’s 2009 Shakespeare Festival, as well as many Broadway credits including “The Lion King,” and “Julius Caesar.” Whether gasping as the children slowly arrive, defending his career as a romance writer, or being temped to see if the grass is really greener on the other side, Page amuses and entertains every moment on stage.
Davis is a delight as she changes personalities with the change of her hat. From always watching her husband get the spotlight while she does the womanly work in a marriage, Davis brings exceptional career skills to her role. Her Broadway credits include “Boeing-Boeing,” “Chicago,” and light opera performances in “The Sound of Music” among others. Creating an imaginative show with the challenges of a small stage seems effortless for Davis and Page whose 15 years of married life probably helps in creating their roller-coaster character arcs.
Direction by Richard Jay-Alexander and choreography by James Kinney are essentially seamless with this caliber of stars and do not disappoint. Realistically touching on passion, trust, expectations and all the elements of married life, “I Do! I Do!” will appeal to musical fans and anyone married or considering such a luxury.
“I Do! I Do!”
Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
The Old Globe, Balboa Park
Now – Dec. 20
Performances: Tues. & Wed. 7 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. matinees, 2 p.m.; Sun. evenings at 7 p.m.
$39 to $85. (619) 23-GLOBE or www.TheOldGlobe.org
The Old Globe Unveils Redesigned Campus
The Tony Award-winning Old Globe’s Executive Producer Lou Spisto, Globe Board of Directors and staff recently unveiled their new Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park. Along with the flagships of the Old Globe and Lowell Davis Theatres, new additions include the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center, Hattox Hall, Erna and Andrew Viterbi Lobby, Lady Carolyn’s Pub and the 6,200-square-foot Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace. The Donald Cohn Education Center provides a dedicated area to accommodate new educational programs. The new Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre features a fully-trapped stage, state-of-the-art acoustics, two stage level entrances, plush seating and complete access for patrons with disabilities. The new building has many amenities.
- A permanent home for the educational programs serving both children and adults.
- A 2,000-square-foot multi-purpose space for theater classes, guest lectures and student rehearsals.
- A space for play development readings, special events and musical performances by Globe artists.
- An additional 600-square-foot classroom equipped with the latest technology for instructional presentations.
- Many dressing and bathrooms throughout.
Many hands helped in this project.
- Project Manager – Project Management Advisors, Inc. (PMA) in Solana Beach
- Theatre Consultant – Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates, New York, N.Y.
- Design –LMN Architects of Seattle, WA,
- Landscape – David Reed Landscape Architects, San Diego, CA
- Balboa Park Historical Consultant – David Marshall of Heritage Architecture & Planning, San Diego, CA.
- General Contractor –DPR Construction, Inc.,
- Structural Engineer –RBF Consultants & Hope Engineering
- Specialty Lighting Consultant – Horton Lees Brogden.
- Acoustic and audio-visual consultants – Jaffe Holden Acoustics