With only a couple performances left, it’s sad to say goodbye to the Utah Repertory Theater Company’s production of i love you because.
The off-Broadway musical found its way to the Murray Theater, thanks to director Ashley Ramsey, and for the last two weeks, the energetic cast has presented audiences with a modern spin on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
It should be noted that, minus a few familiar names, a casual observer would have some difficulty seeing the parallels between Austen’s classic and the Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman’s tune-rich story. But the New York-based tale doesn’t really need the famous comparison to sing its boy-meets-girl melody. Instead, in this Utah Rep production, leads Billy Hagee and Madeline Weinberger have enough charm to make the outing worth your while.
The story, centering on Republican greeting-card writer Austin Bennett, explores the ups and downs any relationship endures when playing the “opposites-attract” card. When Marcy Fitzwilliams, a fate-faithful free spirit, tries to help Austin win back his ex-girlfriend, the two find a connection in something as simple as a cup of coffee.
“As humans, we are all beautifully quirked and marked with the scars and bumps of life experiences,” Ramsey said. “As relationships blossom and we get to know those in our lives, those marks can become so apparent. It’s easy to doubt if we can love or be loved in spite of those things. But if we can learn to love everything about ourselves and those in our lives, how much more deep would that love be?”
Utah Rep continues its mission with i love you because by bringing Utah the great little gems you’ve never heard of. Though small, the company manages to bring genuinely impressive talent to their list of reasons to drop by, and the cozy living room setting provides for a unique way enjoy the display.
The show won’t pass as family friendly because of adult themes, alcohol and language content, but in a cinematic world, it would barely cross the PG-13 line if too lazy to fight for PG.
The show closes on April 5th, but if you’re unable to attend, the very talented Weinberger will be returning for the company’s production of Frank Wildhorn’s Bonnie & Clyde later this year.