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Review: LOVE SONGE THERAPIE at Lucernaire

Review: LOVE SONGE THERAPIE at Lucernaire

A French-language Shakespeare Musical

After a long list of successful children's musicals such as The Jungle Book and The Revenge of Captain Hook, the multitalented composer Raphaël Sanchez and musical director Ned Grujic have ventured into the more mature world of William Shakespeare, revisiting A Midsummer's Night Dream in the form of a group couple's therapy session, involving hypnosis. This is a very clever idea, leading on naturally to singing and dancing, reminiscent of the dream ballet device in the golden ages of Broadway and Hollywood (Oklahoma, Carousel, An American in Paris). Review: LOVE SONGE THERAPIE at Lucernaire

With the exception of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, based on The Taming of the Shrew, and of course West Side Story, based on Romeo and Juliette, the love affair between Shakespeare and musical theater has not always been a happy one. Even the excellent Something Rotten (2015), with the bard himself as the main character, has hardly even been done outside of Broadway, even in London, despite 742 performances and 10 Tony nominations.

Love Songe Thérapie, a charming chamber piece musical, is a fresh addition to the short list of Shakespeare-inspired musicals, accompanied live on the piano by the composer himself, with Charlotte Gauthier standing in for him for some performances, including the one I caught. Review: LOVE SONGE THERAPIE at Lucernaire

Referring to the tradition of commedia dell'arte, much like Broadway's Pippin and The Glorious Ones, the play within the play follows the storyline of Midsummer's Night Dream, gradually introducing the Corinne Rossi's period costumes in a much inventive way. After a slightly lengthy opening sequence, the show turns into a fast-paced 140-minute act with the help of an outstanding and mischievous Simon Gallant as Puck and a convincing Vincent Gillérion as Oberon, both of whom were part of the cast of Addam's Family at the Grand Rex in 2011, also directed by Ned Grujic. Jean-Baptiste Darosey, Marion Belhamou, Julie Costanza, Margaux Lloret, and Julien Rouquette all do a fine job as well in this youthful and multitalented, rotating cast. Review: LOVE SONGE THERAPIE at Lucernaire

A treat not to be missed, Love Songe Thérapie, a small-scale musical full of fun and brains, plays at the Lucernaire theater until the end of August.


From This Author - Patrick Honoré

Patrick Honoré runs the magazine and has been a musical theater critic for 15 years, sarting as the French Musical Corespondant for the paper edition of Musical Stages in London,... (read more about this author)

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