By Bonnie Priever
All the wonder, mirth and fancy of the Bard comes to life at the Santa Monica Playhouse, as “Love in Bloom” unfolds Shakespeare’s orb into contemporary time. Through an eclectic mix of creative, expressive movement, music, lyrics and poetry, the eight member ensemble of fairies, damsels in distress, cherubs, princes, and royalty reveal themselves in a commedia-carnival style, truly in the spirit of “All the world’s a stage.’ Inspired and influenced by the genius works of favorites – Shakespeare, Gilbert & Sullivan, Ionesco, and Marcel Marceau, playwrights Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie invite the audience on a whimsical journey into the enchanted garden of Love in Bloom. Zack Medway, as the rogue, Frivolio, so authentically performs and mimes, ala Marceau, with a natural theatrical aura and innate grace. An intimate space and warm lighting sets the tone, as cast members don many masks and wigs to depict a myriad of characters, wearing hearts on their sleeves, with rosy cheeks that share “love’s sweet glow.” Memorable dialogue, with cherished, beloved sonnets and odes, such as “To live a lifetime without love…” & “The hand that fits no other like a glove…” “The fates have smiled upon us… Kismet, do your work” are all poetic foreshadowings of a climactic finale, where each single is blissfully reunited and paired, coming full circle, and “all’s well that ends well.” Just as “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Love in Bloom is a production in which each exquisite cast member blossoms and nourishes the soul. Live, love, laugh at this true labour of love, sheer delight, played out from beginning to end.
Santa Monica Playhouse 1211 4th St. 3103949779 SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm Sundays, 6pm Through December 13th.