I Love You Because by Toronto’s Angelwalk Theatre is a romantic comedy treat based on Pride and Prejudice
As soon as I took my seat and glanced at the program, I knew I was in for a good time. I was immediately excited to discover that both Jeff Maden and Gabi Epstein were in I Love You Because, two wonderful actors who I’d previously seen in Dani Girl. I Love You Because lived up to my expectations and completely surpassed them.
Lauded as a modern musical twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a book I just couldn’t seem to get through in my first year English class, I Love You Because was bright, hilarious and based on every woman’s dating experiences. This Off-Broadway musical tells the tale of Austin (Jeff Madden), an uptight, conservative, Republican greeting card writer and Marcy (Elena Juatco), a flighty, fun, leave-it-to-fate photographer who find themselves falling in love. The show initially begins with Marcy promising to help Austin win back his former flame Catherine, his seemingly perfect girlfriend, who he catches cheating on him. What’s in it for Marcy? Having just come out of a breakup herself, she realizes she needs to find the absolute worst-of-the-worst man before she can find Mr. Right and sees that ex-obsessed Austin is the perfect candidate.
The entire show felt like I was watching a hilarious sitcom about a group of twenty-somethings living and trying to find love in New York. All the dating anecdotes that were presented throughout the show were laughable and completely true, causing me and my roommate to exchange several glances and laughs throughout the night. Perhaps the best example of this is the fabulous Diana’s (played by Gabi Epstein) equation for how long it should take you to get over someone you’ve dated, and thus how long your rebound time should last. Scribbling on a whiteboard about RL (the relationship length), the bitterness factor, how long it felt like you dated, and who broke up with who are all factors in this fictional equation that could very well have some truth to it.
The actors were fantastic, the songs were catchy, the script felt nearly perfect to me, and the set was to-die-for. Mostly, it was an apartment in NYC that made me wish it was my apartment in NYC, or I guess I’d settle for it being in Toronto. It was the perfect set and even had different levels, with the upper part serving as the apartment and the lower part functioning as a bar and coffee shop.
I highly recommend seeing this musical, it’s one of the best productions I’ve seen in long time. While I think both sexes will really enjoy the production, you might get a little something different out of it if you go with a bunch of your girlfriends and have a laugh over your collective dating mishaps and experiences.
– I Love You Because is playing at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge until April 15
– Shows run March 30 – April 15 with previews on March 28-29, there will be no performance on Easter Sunday April 8
– Ticket prices are $35-$45 and previews are $30
– Tickets are available at the box office, online or at 416-872-1111