Love Is Only Love ★★★★★ The Other Palace | Apr 29 - May 15, 2022


Are the answers to love and life to be found in the film Hello Dolly? This and other vital questions are all answered in this charming, feel-good musical about a young man growing up gay and searching for love. This is a story as simple and sweet as that of an old-style Broadway musical, and the usual conflict and trauma of the gay bildungsroman are absent. The power of Love Is Only Love comes from its humour, its resonance with many gay peoples' experience, and some superb performances. Sam, played by Sam Harrison grows up in a home that accepts his sexual orientation, but that doesn't mean that life is without anxiety or that the search for romance is free of complication. Harrison is incredibly likeable and does a terrific job of making us believe in his character. It is not easy for an adult to play a child credibly, and Harrison's dance performance as the young Sam is simply perfect. He radiates pride in his childlike attempts, and when we laugh it is never at him. Similarly David Seadon-Young is excellent as Marc & Everyone Else. He amazingly manages to individuate a series of characters and also does a very credible tap dance in trainers. If we had any quibble with the show, it was the awkward intrusion of a gentle political rant in its midst. It was unnecessary and broke the mood because it didn't trust the narrative to make the audience feel and acknowledge those truths on their own. Nevertheless, this is terrific show that rings with those values of exuberance, resilience and romance that make classic Broadway musicals the guidebook to modern gay life.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Manuel Harlan.

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