By Prof Sehdev Kumar
TORONTO: Steven Sondheim is a well-known lyricist and composer who has, over 50 years, created some memorable songs that have been staged far and wide, and have won him eight Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Award.
Marry Me A Little is one of his finest compositions with songs of love, loneliness and longing, that seem as fresh as ever.
Directed by Adam Brazier, this musical at the Tarragon Theatre presents two outstanding singers, Elodie Gillett and Adrian Marchuk under the musical direction of Paul Sportelli. With their voices soaring, together with the wit and poignancy of the songs, the musical touches the heart strings of the audience in tender and delightful ways.
Currently under the artistic direction of Richard Rose, for the last four decades, the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto has presented many Canadian plays by new and established playwrights, with imagination and artistic aplomb. The theatre has assisted many a young writer to create their plays, from their initial conception to their staging. As such, the Tarragon has a special significance for aspiring playwrights and performers.
Marry Me A Little is a play that tells the story of two young lovers as they go through their trials and tribulations of encountering each other, celebrating their friendship and love, and then questioning its vulnerabilities, fears and pitfalls. The title of the play itself speaks volumes: asking for a commitment but also for freedom, for intimacy but also for a certain breathing space, for the assurances of love but no less for spontaneity and newness.
This is the new face of romantic love, and it is likely to be presented in many more plays that Tarragon is planning for its 2014-15 season: “We have for you a season of plays about our struggles to Love, our triumphs over Loss, the mystery and power of Wine and our ambiguous and contradictory relationship to the Gods,” says the Artistic Director. That beguiling terrain covers much. Certainly, Marry Me A Little fits in that program quite triumphantly.
The play continues at the Tarragon Theatre until April 6.
(Prof Sehdev Kumar lectures of international films at the School of Continuing Studies of the University of Toronto)