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Posted October 1, 2010
''I Do! I Do!'' - Absoulutely Charming!
In 1967,''I Do! I Do!'' was more of a musical EVENT than a musical. Schmidt and Jones wrote this musical adaption of the play ''The Fourposter'' with one goal in mind - to unite two of Broadway's then-greatest stars, Mary Martin and Robert Preston. Martin signed on from the start but Preston took some convincing. Unique in the annals of musical theatre, ''I Do! I Do!'' is the antithesis of the standard lavish Broadway musical. With only two stars, no chorus, and one set, it marked the beginning of a minimalist period which continued well into the 1980's. This show is all about two things - the stars and the music. What a delightful pairing Martin and Preston make! This cast album was recorded only two days before the show opened and despite Martin not being in her very best voice, it all works. The score is diverse in style to showcase its two performers and there are many terrific songs. From the wedding night innocence of ''Goodnight'', to the hat-and-cane sophistication of ''It's A Well-Known Fact'', to the fun vamping of ''Flaming Agnes'', to the bouncey ''When The Kids Get Married'', to the 11:00 ballad ''What Is A Woman?'', there is something for all musical tastes. A side note: ''I Do! I Do!'' gets slammed often (and arguably justified) for a weak book and thin characterizations. For that reason, this little gem of a show and staple of many a dinner-theatre is seldom produced anymore. Too bad. I recently had the pleasure of directing and starring in a community theatre production of this show and the audience LOVED it. Everyone has been involved in relationships or gotten married - many have suffered through affairs, the angst of raising children, and some are lucky enough to grow old together. The show is somewhat dated but many of the themes are timeless. It's ALL here in this wonderful score and worthy of your attention! ENJOY!
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