Of Lyrics and Love

CVTG production explores composer’s real-life romance

Emily Anderson

Continuing with their fabulous 2012-13 season, the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild is presenting They’re Playing Our Song at the Grand Little Theatre Feb. 14-17. They’re Playing Our Song is a comedic tale written by Neil Simon based on the real-life relationship between Marvin Hamlisch, a pianist and composer famous for the Broadway musical A Chorus Line, and lyricist Carole Bayer Sager.

They’re Playing Our Song is not only about Hamlisch and Sager, but Hamlisch wrote the music and Sager wrote the lyrics.

The production stars Keith Lorasch, who has directed and starred in many CVTG production and also serves as the musical director for this show, as Vernon Gersch (Hamlisch’s character), a top composer in need of someone new to collaborate with. He meets Sonia Walsk (Sager), played by Angie Alexander (another CVTG veteran). Sonia is an eccentric and offbeat lyricist, completely the opposite of Vernon. Despite their differences, the pair starts working together and even though it isn’t a match made in heaven, they find great success in their music. After awhile, their work relationship turns into a romantic one. The only question is whether or not their relationship can survive living together, writing music, and an ex-boyfriend who keeps popping into the picture.

Directed by Elaine Jones with the help of assistant director Kim Butnick, this production features a cast of only five, including Lorasch and Alexander. Gogo Moua, Sandy Patten, and Todd Vandenbark make up a chorus that doesn’t really interact with Gersch and Walsk, but acts as their inner voices. This hilarious romantic comedy/musical is a must-see for anyone who loves to laugh and appreciates a good love story.

Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild production of They’re Playing Our Song • 7:30pm Feb. 14-16 and 1:30pm Feb. 17 • The Grand Theatre, 102 W. Grand Ave. • Tickets: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $8 youth/students • (715) 832-7529 • cvtg.org.