Bethesda Little Theatre’s New Musical Revue “Let’s Not Talk About Love” Opens Tonight: ‘Inside The Numbers’: Part Two

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Bethesda Little Theatre’s New Musical Revue

Let’s Not Talk About Love” Covers All the Bases, by Christina Ling

“Let’s not talk about love,” Cole Porter once implored, and who would disagree with the master? But the Bethesda Little Theatre (BLT) will be singing its heart out about love, the theme of its new musical revue, scheduled for four showings March 24-26th at the Bethesda Writer’s Center.

Celebrating its 35th season of bringing Broadway to the Beltway, BLT’s new show draws from the best of seven decades of American musical theater tradition – with a nod to jazz, pop, and the 60s British Invasion – to sing about young love, parental love, romantic love, unrequited love and – of course – love gone wrong.

“Cell Block Tango is actually about love gone very, very, wrong,” Director Martin Bestimt clarifies for anyone who may not be familiar with the butcher-block humor of the musical Chicago’s classic number – one of his favorites in this revue.

Music Director Jeff Hayes has put an Andrews Sisters spin on Duke Ellington’s jazz standard “I’m Beginning to See the Light” for the show and coached the company through an infectious mashup of the Temptations’ “My Girl” with Mary Wells’ “My Guy.”

From Annie Get Your Gun to Hamilton, The Producers to La La Land and more, the hits about happiness, heartbreak, and longing just keep coming in this compelling revue that covers love in all its bittersweet variety. Numbers from Steven Sondheim’s Company, his groundbreaking rumination on the pros and cons of married versus single life in New York City, round out the show.

Whether or not you’re wrapped up in the thing that’s known as romance, this witty and lighthearted romp is just the ticket.

The Bethesda Little Theatre presents Let’s Not Talk About Love at the Bethesda Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD, 20815:

Tickets at http://www.blt-online.org

Love For a Child

There is nothing quite as special as a parent’s love for a child. You can’t have a showand not address this aspect. Ironically, some of the people singing the songs about parental love aren’t parents, so we went to the experts for their inside take! about love.

Cathy McCoskey, John Spouge, and Carolyn Oxenford. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

Shereth: My husband and I waited a long time to decide to have children, so when we found out that I was pregnant, it was absolutely a miracle! As far as advice, there isn’t any. You just hope that you do a good job, and  the rest falls into place. I always wondered what she would look like as an adult, and, of course, she is beautiful and talented!

John: Love gives life meaning.

Alice: I have always practiced by example what I wanted my son to learn. So regarding love, I have been patient, affectionate, gave hugs and kisses, expressed my pride (and sometimes frustration and disappointment), but always showed that I loved him. I have always been honest with him. I remembered lessons from my parents, and did pattern a lot of what I did for Brendan, as they had done for their 4 kids. But since Brendan was an only child, he benefited from some adjustments!!! Now, I reap the benefits. He gives me the biggest, most loving hugs, and always tells me he loves me before hanging up the phone.

What song best represents the relationship between you and your children?

Alice Smyth. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

Alice: The one song that expresses a lot of what I feel is the one in Act 1, “If He Walked Into My Life,” that Michelle is singing. There are many songs that I sang to Brendan and now I sing with Brendan (which is a thrill) or he sings to me!!. However, because of our lifestyle and the way I most always included Brendan in being a part of Michael’s life as a professional pianist, my life in the theater world and our lives as a performing family, I totally identify with every word in that song from Mame. It really touches my heart and she sings it beautifully!

John: “Dear Theodosia” embodies the feeling of wonder that every parent has at giving life to a child. My father’s last words to me (and to one of my sisters) were “I love you.” To give my children the gift that my father gave me, I say “I love you” to them instead of “Goodbye.”

Shereth Gilson. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

LOVE GONE WRONG

Love can be splendid! But love can also be heartbreaking and in some cases, love can be extremely damaging. Take “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago, for example. Let’s see what our talented dancers had to say about this kind of love!

Sandy Gorton, Cathy McCoskey, Karen Fitch, Christina MacAllister, and Laura Holmes. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

Have you ever had a “love gone wrong” experience?

Sandy: Oh sure! But you can’t put it in print!

Jenna: I was cleaning up during the last five minutes of a college sculpture class and half-listening to a classmate say to our group he had preview tickets to a new movie that weekend. Free movie? Sure! I met up with the crew that Saturday afternoon.“The crew” ended up being just me and him. I was surprised. He was not. I sat through the entire movie mentally retracing my steps trying to calculate how I ended up on an accidental date. I remember the ice cream flavor I ordered after the movie, but not his name.

Laura: No more than some simple hurt feelings in college. I’ve been with my husband for 28 years – I think that means that “love has gone right!”

Sandy Gorton, Jenna Briggs, Laura Holmes, Karen Fitch, Cathy McCoskey, and Christina MacAllister. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

What was it like learning such a complicated dance number?

Jenna: Musical theater – with a difficult number or two – is my favorite kind of brain/body challenge. You have to have all the singing/dancing/acting plates spinning at the same time, plus work to charm the audience. Karen knows how to choreograph a song to make everyone look good, so it’s been a blast to learn!

Laura: Mind boggling. It may look simple, but trying to remember each different shoulder roll or hand position is murder!

Cathy: It’s exciting to learn something that is challenging. It is beyond doing the right moves. It is getting all the rhythms, the style of the dance, the correct flick of the hand at the right time, and so on. That being said, it will be a relief when there is more muscle memory involved.

Sandy: It was mind boggling even for me and I’ve done a lot of dancing, because in this number there is a lot going on at once. It’s also sexy, funny and powerful. It’s a reminder that men better watch out what they say or do to women.

Cathy McCoskey, Sandra Gorton, Karen Fitch, Jenna Briggs, Christina MacAllister, and Laura Holmes. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

My Guy…My Girl!

“My Guy” and “My Girl” were both released in 1964 through the Motown label. What better way to celebrate love than with a mashup of these two classic standards?

Justin Cunningham and Jenna Briggs. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

Jenna: ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ – This was the first slow song of the night at my best friend’s wedding and the first song my guy and I ever danced to. We had only been dating about 2 months and I already knew this song summed us up.

Arthur: Actually, the song that represents my relation with my girl is “Unchained Melody.” This song helped me win our first cruise to the Bahamas and it is the song that I would often sing to Carole when I returned from a 110 day deployment to the middle of no-where. “Oh, my love, my darling, I’ve hungered for your touch a long lonely time! And time goes by so slowly and time can do so much. Are you still mine?  I need your love. Oh, I need your love. God speed your love to me!”

Karen: Frank Sinatra’s “All The Way.” There’s nothing more fulfilling than giving your love to someone 100 percent.

Alan Barnett and Karen Fitch. Photo by Penni Barnett.

Leslie: I love sappy songs, and the one I chose for our wedd`ing dance was “Your Love” by Jim Brickman because it talks about how love isn’t about all the symbols (flowers, rings, gifts), it’s just being with the one you’ve chosen. But the song that describes my guy is “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” cuz he’s the exact opposite of me and I love every bit of it!

Why should people come see the show?

Karen: There’s something for everyone:  pop, standards, broadway, songs you know, and songs you’ll enjoy for the first time. But best of all, the show will be performed by a talented group that LOVES to entertain!

Arthur: People should come see our show because we are singing about Love from all aspects. 1 Corinthians 13 talks about Faith, Hope and Love, But the greatest of all three is Love. There are more songs written about Love then you can imagine and while we are not singing all of them we are singing some really good ones. Finally, they should come as see our rendition of “My Girl/My Guy,” which I feel they will really enjoy. It’s not the Temptations, but we least have some of the moves!

Leslie: It’s such a great variety of songs this year – I always learn a new favorite and I know the audience will too!

John: We have a talented cast and a wide variety of ambitious numbers. The group has only improved since last year.

Jenna: Come see the show because there’s a prize for correctly guessing the number of sequins on the cast’s costumes. (Correct answer: Never enough!)

Christina: People should come see the show because everyone needs a little love – and Broadway – in their lives!

Cathy McCoskey, Sandra Gorton, Karen Fitch, Jenna Briggs, Christina MacAllister, and Laura Holmes. Photo by Leslie Blaha.

Let’s Not Talk About Love plays on March 24-26, 2017, at Bethesda Little Theatre performing at The Writer’s Center – 4508 Walsh Street, in Bethesda, MD. For tickets, purchase them at the door or online.

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