Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love Letters

Last night I got to see what was supposed to be the final performance of Love Letters at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center. As it turns out, the show has been so popular that they will do another run in May.

The play is translated from A. R. Gurney's 1989 drama, which was adapted for television 10 years later. It is poignant, though predictable. I liked the way the two characters change over the course of the play. In the production here, each was played by 4 different actors of various ages, reflecting their development as the play wears on. I liked the two kids and the two older actors very well, but I think the teenage boy really stole the show for me. He played his part just right, and balanced it all with just the right bit of feeling. There were several spots in his speeches that were very moving, and he handled them with just the right touch.

The show is a lot of dialogue, and no action. For many that could become boring, so it might not be just everyone's thing. But if the actors handle it well, as they did on the stage here, it is a very entertaining piece. The poignancy of it can leave a little ache inside as you leave the theatre.

I can certainly see why the show here has been so popular, creating a demand for another run next month. It is well worth the time to see this one. Tickets are not on sale yet at the Dramatic Arts Center, but should be before too long.

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