Romance Romance is an engaging musical made up of two different stories set 100 years apart that both examine the politics of romance.
Originally performed in America with heterosexual couples this new production at Above The Stag, directed by Steven Dexter, is now an examination of different sets of gay couples. The first act, subtitled The Little Comedy is set in Vienna around 1900 and is the story of Alfred played by Blair Roberson and Valentine played by Jordan Lee Davis, who are both bored by the superficial nature of their rich and decadent gay lives and concoct lies to attract different men. This first half is elegant and precise, with every action cleverly choreographed, with the other two actors Alex Lodge and Ryan Anderson providing support, while the music is almost light operetta. Act Two, called Summer Share is set a century later in the Hamptons, the favourite get away of New York’s affluent gay men, with a lovely set that transforms before our eyes. Here the leads switch with Alex and Ryan playing two best friends on a summer break with their respective husbands. This second half is both more relaxed and intimate, with raw emotions on show through some fantastic performances from all four leads and some great songs, especially the closing Romantic Notions. This is a clever and enjoyable musical that puts the reality of gay relationships and friendships under the softest of spotlights.