Review: I Love You Because (Angelwalk Theatre)

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.

Details:
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

 

2 thoughts on “Review: I Love You Because (Angelwalk Theatre)”

  1. All your reviews sound like they were written by a 12 year old girl from her pink computer and posters of Broadway shows on her wall. What exactly is your background in theatre criticism besides liking all the cheesy fluffy shows in Toronto? This comment is not geared towards this particular show, which was fine, I am just curious what makes you a critic. You say “The entire show felt like I was watching a hilarious sitcom”. This is a good theatre in your point of view? If you want to watch a sitcom then watch one on television. Theatre exists to excavate, challenge and provoke. You seem to be happy to sit in a theatre and watch trite shows about nothing. Terrifying.

    1. Hello “Wow”,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. We really do appreciate when people take the time to connect with us here on Mooney on Theatre, even when the sentiments are negative ones. It’s good to be able to get a read on what’s happening on the other side of the screen. It’s unfortunate that you felt it necessary to use a nasty tone, but you raise questions so I will provide answers to the best of my ability.

      You asked what qualifies Mooney on Theatre writers to be critics. My first response would be, we aren’t. I know it sounds like semantics, but we’re reviewers, not critics. While there may be some critique-type component to our reviews, generally the idea of Mooney on Theatre is that we provide a experiencial review. That is, our writers talk about their experiences, what they liked, what they didn’t, what worked for them, what didn’t work for them. They don’t talk in absolutes. A show is not terrible, it’s just that the reviewer didn’t like it, that kind of thing.

      The idea of this publication is to provide coverage of theatre in a way that is accessible to people who are not steeped in theatre. There already exists a great deal of coverage that fills that need, my favourite these days is Kelly Nestruck at the Globe and Mail. We want to help make theatre accessible, take the intimidation factor down a few notches. There are currently 21 people who write reviews for Mooney on Theatre, so there are far too many to for me to start itemizing experience and where they come from in this forum. Some information is available in the contributors section in people’s bios.

      Here’s what I can tell you, MoT writers are a diverse group, ranging from people who have little experience with theatre but do enjoy it and want to experience more of it, to people who are active members of the theatre community. I have often said that my dream writer is someone who hasn’t been to a play since high school and didn’t take a drama class. Those are the bums that the theatre so desperately needs to get into their seats, so I would love to provide coverage from that point of view.

      Personally I enjoy both fluffy fun pieces and weighty complex ones. While I think that for some people to enjoy theatre it must “excavate, challenge and provoke”, for others it must entertain and nothing more and for more still they like a combination of the two. All are perfectly valid points of view for that individual.

      Regards,
      Megan
      editor in chief

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