Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Funny Little Thing Called Love


Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published May 4, 2017

Heads Up! This article is 5 years old.

People of a certain age will remember a television program called Love, American Style. Part of a solid kid-friendly Friday night lineup on ABC (the original TGIF, though no marketing genius thought to call it that then), Love, American Style capped an evening which opened with The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, a pretty strong lure to young girls in the early 1970s. But Love, American Style was slightly naughty and more adult-oriented, though not so much that the kids had to be chased away from the TV. The upshot of the show was to feature two or three vignettes about love, mostly romantic but with just enough sex to make it interesting.

Seeing Funny Little Thing Called Love, currently playing at the Arena Dinner Theatre, is nostalgically familiar to anyone familiar with that show. Its greatest charm is the fact that there are five separate stories (or really four and a half, since the opener is very short) with a wide range of characters. Rather than tracking one narrative for two hours, Funny Little Thing Called Love offers short stories about love which take different twists. The first act is solidly amusing, with a great take on a man surprised to discover his many women have conspired against him. That’s followed by a delightful and even sweet look at the conflict between friendships and relationships that provides a few big laughs.

But as fun as Act I is, Act II is even better. With a story set in a London caf? and one set in a New York City apartment, there’s plenty of both wit and physical comedy to inspire laughs. At times there was a fear that laughter might block out the next great line, and the cast delivered it all with great timing and expression. Much of the cast gets two shots at being on stage, which allows a great forum for their talents. Particularly noteworthy in Act II is Jordan Plohr who seamlessly goes from British accent to New York accent and deadpans some of the shows best lines. The script, written by playwright trio Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, is packed with memorable lines that will be come to mind long after the show is over. (It’s not going to be easy to work “She’s not dead, she’s French” into casual conversation, but it’s definitely worth a try.)

Funny Little Thing Called Love is a charming and often hilarious diversion and allows a light-hearted look at the quirks and foibles of love, no matter what form that love takes. Maybe it’s time for ABC to call up Jones, Hope and Wooten and offer them a Love, American Style reboot.

michele.whatzup@gmail.com

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