Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



THEATER REVIEW Aspects of Love
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber; Libretto: Don Black and Charles Hart. At: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre at No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: 800-595-4849 or; $30-$64. Runs through: April 21

When the off-Broadway show Forbidden Broadway spoofed Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1989 musical Aspects of Love, lyricist Gerard Alessandrini wrote a scathing spoof that transformed the show's best-known song, "Love Changes Everything," into "We Sleep With Everyone."

Now that I've finally had a chance to see Aspects of Love thanks to Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's intimate staging at the No Exit Café, Alessandrini's assessment is accurate. There is plenty of bed-hopping in this self-important musical set largely in France between 1947-64, where practically everything is sung and sprinkled with British expressions in Don Black and Charles Hart's libretto. Webber produces many lush melodies, which ultimately get cannibalized and reprised ad nauseam for the basic recitative or sung dialogue.

The show's sung-through nature makes for very little emotional subtlety and for very simplified characters who all seem to go into seduction mode when given a chance (including a bisexual threesome that comes out of nowhere). Aspects of Love is very much a transitional and derivative work between Webber's The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard (there's also a tune that Lloyd Webber recycled from his theme song to the British sitcom Executive Stress).

Yet director Fred Anzevino and his ensemble lavish an inordinate amount of work and passion into the show, even though Aspects of Love is clearly not a musical for the ages. They all do an admirable job, even if the overwrought style and structure of Aspects of Love frequently bursts against the seams of this tiny cabaret dinner theater

Aspects of Love follows Alex (Matthew Keffer), who reflects on his youthful fling with the actress Rose (Kelli Harrington), who later takes up with his English painter uncle George (Sean Thomas), who has an Italian sculptor mistress named Giulietta (Collette Todd). These multiple love triangles get expanded in the second act when Alex becomes the object of affection to his 15-year-old cousin, Jenny (Rochelle Therrien), and when Rose takes on a lover named Hugo (William Lucas).

You do feel for the very vocally skilled ensemble under Jeremy Ramey's fine music direction, even when they become saddled with such unsatisfactory material and lascivious character motivations.

After it flopped on Broadway, Aspects of Love is said to have worked much better as a chamber musical for smaller spaces (a scaled-down tour played Chicago at the former Civic Theatre). But at the No Exit Café, the size of Aspects of Love often feels too big—particularly in the big danced production numbers like "Hand Me the Wine and the Dice" or "The Journey of a Lifetime" choreographed by James Beaudry.

At the very least, Theo Ubique's Aspects of Love provides a way for die-hard Webber fans work to see one of his lesser-known shows performed very well.numbers go on too long ("Texas: Land of God and Carbohydrates") or don't feel properly built up to ("Boners Over Butterflies" as the "you'll do" romantic duet between Whit and Columbus).

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Steppenwolf names first woman director 2020-05-22 - Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that Brooke Flanagan—who previously worked at Steppenwolf for seven years—will return to the organization in the role of executive ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22 - Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew. At: TimeLine Theatre, streaming. Tickets:; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7 TimeLine Theatre commissioned To ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22 - Playwright: Jocelyn Bioh At: Goodman Theatre online at Tickets: $20. Runs through: May 31 Ranking in popularity on the list of ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21 - Playwright: Philip Dawkins At: Sideshow Theatre online. Tickets:; $5+ ( pay what you can ). Runs through: Open run Playwright Philip ...

Gay News

Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21 - In response to the COVID-19 ( coronavirus ) pandemic, Broadway In Chicago announced that the upcoming engagement of Disney's Frozen—originally scheduled to run ...

Gay News

'SapphFest' to take place virtually May 28-29 2020-05-21 - On May 28-29 at 7:30 p.m., Violet Surprise Theatre will present SapphFest—a digital variety show celebrating queer women and non-binary artists from all ...

Gay News

First Folio to stream 'Cymbeline' in June 2020-05-19 - As a way to help address the absence of live theater performances, First Folio Theatre will offer a streaming video recording of the ...

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag updates season with 'Girls,' 'Tiger Queen' 2020-05-19 - Hell in a Handbag Productions announced several updates to its 2020 season, including a streaming production slated for this summer and a world-premiere ...

Gay News

Victory Gardens announces IGNITION Festival of New Plays 2020-05-18 - Victory Gardens Theater outgoing Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Artistic Erica Daniels announced the lineup for the 2020 IGNITION Festival of New ...

Gay News

Broadway in Chicago updates show schedule 2020-05-15 - ( Chicago — Friday, May 15 ) The safety and health of our patrons, staff and theatrical companies is our top priority. In ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.