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February 20, 2014
Review: Til Divorce Do Us Part
Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Photo by Carol Rosegg.

If there are any newbies in the entire production of "Til Divorce Do Us Part", they sure know how to hide it; this cast of seasoned theater professionals transcends the ordinary levels of performance in musical theatre.

Ruthe Ponturo's musical follows Kate, a recent divorcee, as she journeys through each exasperating step of ending something that was meant to last forever. Despite the agony that pervades the subject of divorce, Ponturo, with the help of John T. Fischer's melodic genius, creates an atmosphere that's rich with fun, nostalgia and saudade. Grounded in its understanding of just how monumental the details are, this musical effortlessly combines camp with sincerity.

Mitchell Greenberg's bold and delightful stage design blends perfectly with this aesthetic. Bursting with Valentine's Day colors (pink, purple and red), candy hearts scatter themselves around the stage with biting reinventions of cliche phrases like "Bite Me" and "Really?"  Ponturo's work as a lyricist shines not only through her sardonic humor, but also through her willingness to sing about the ugly, the vulnerable and the awkward. It includes such sweet, clever, perfect lines as: "No one knows what to say to a divorcee. Do you say, 'I'm sorry,' or do you say, 'Hurray!'" Another song muses about the age difference between a divorcee's ex-husband and his new lover: "I've thought about it for a while, She was 5 years old when we wed.  If you had met her back then, would you have been a pedophile?"

Campy, free and silly with awareness, "Til Divorce Do Us Part" contains countless moments of performance genius, from a hilarious send up to "Cabaret" to a sly wink at "The Scarlet Letter". It is able to take you into a world that exists only in the imagination of Broadway theatre divorcees enjoying their third glass of wine in a living room. And god, do you want to be there.

At the DR2 Theatre.

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Written by: Paul Notice
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