Director Matt Conner wouldn’t call “Marry Me a Little” dated. But he admits the piece, which opens Creative Cauldron’s fifth season Friday, has a ’70s or ’80s feel to it. When it was first staged in 1980, there were no iPhones, tablets, and the myriad other devices that we use to communicate today. But do those gadgets really connect us with others?
Were the singles at the center of this piece a modern pair, Conner mused, they might have used Facebook or some other technological means to curb their loneliness. But to what effect? At different moments, Conner says he’s felt both connected and left out by such digital means of communicating, and that it can make the world lonelier or less lonely.
For this production Conner has opted to leave technology out of the conversation, but the rollercoaster of emotions that can come from being alone remain. Part of the fun for audiences in watching this piece, Conner says, is following in that journey of this couple as they rail against and try to accept being alone. Through these 16 songs by Stephen Sondheim – works gathered from musicals by the acclaimed lyricist and composer like “Company” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” – audiences are invited into the apartments and imaginations of two singles in New York City, alone on a Saturday night. And their stories will be told entirely in song.
“He’s impeccable with his words,” Conner said of Sondheim. “The language of each song is absolutely genius and brilliant.”
While the songs may not have been intended by their author to fit together, and were rather combined by two other theater artists to form this revue, Conner says the lyrics portray the humor and heartache in being alone, and will be familiar to any audience member who’s been in a relationship.
“I think what’s amazing about this piece is whether you’ve been in a happy relationship or a miserable relationship, or whatever relationships you’ve been through, they’re all represented in so many different ways in this show,” Conner said.
Conner says audiences will root for the couple, played by Dani Stoller and Lou Steele, to get together. But will they?
“Guess you’ll just have to come to the show to see what happens in the end,” Conner said.
“Marry Me a Little” runs Oct. 4 – 27. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays. The play will be performed at ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 S. Maple Ave. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $22 for students and seniors. For more information, visit creativecauldron.org.