Tag: simcoe

Review: Love Letters at Simcoe Little Theatre

Love Letters Poster
Love Letters by A.R. Gurney

“A unique, thought-provoking journey”

By Mike Renzella

The Haldimand Press

SIMCOE—Love Letters, the latest show to grace the stage at Simcoe’s iconic Little Theatre, is thought-provoking, occasionally very funny, and occasionally enough to make you squirm in your seat as the complicated relationship of the play’s only characters, Andrew and Melissa, plays out before you.

The show has a unique format focused solely on the two main characters – played by Chris Verge and Gloria Mitchell for the show’s initial week of performances – sitting at a pair of desks, facing forward, and never once getting up. 

The two recite various letters they wrote to each other over the course of a life-long friendship, delving into their innermost feelings.

The show admittedly takes a few minutes to find its footing, as the audience adjusts to the unique style of storytelling, but the deeper we get into these two characters’ letters and lives, the more the story gets its hooks into you.

Directed by Melissa Collver, Love Letters features bursts of unexpected humour as Andy and Melissa express their frustrations and emotions over a series of meet-ups, will-they-won’t-they scenarios, and the pangs of seeing the other move forward in life on their own path. 

The show has some strong language, and discussions on sexuality that may not be fully appreciated by a younger crowd attending with their families, but the complicated relationship between the two characters takes several surprising turns, at times joyful and exuberant and others sorrowful and mixed with a longing for the past, ultimately ending in a place that leaves the audience with a lot to think about on the drive home.

Verge and Mitchell each brought a distinct, lived-in feel to their characters, especially given the constraints of the show’s narrative structure. By the end, I felt as though I had known the pair almost as deeply as they knew each other. The play will bring in a second set of actors for its second week, with Andy Blackwood and Cara Blackwood taking the stage.

While perhaps not for everybody, for those yearning for an old-fashioned story of friendship, love, family, and loss, with thought-provoking themes and a unique style, Love Letters has what you’re looking for. 

If you’re interested, you better act quickly! Love Letters’ final performances take place March 9-12 at the Simcoe Little Theatre, with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Visit SimcoeLittleTheatre.org for more information.

Simcoe Little Theatre Presents Love Letters by A.R. Gurney

About Love Letters
About Love Letters at Simcoe Little Theatre

Second Production for the 2022/23 Season Now Rehearsing for Early March Performances in the 76th Season of Simcoe’s First-Rate Community Theatre

 On Stage March 2 –12, 2023 at Simcoe Little Theatre

Local cast & crew highlighted

Tickets are on sale now with a subscription upgrade available

 Simcoe, ON (Jan 30,2023) – A lifelong correspondence between childhood friends. Differing educational paths with highs and lows. A growing emotional distance exposes a deep history of giving and love. This is Love Letters by A.R. Gurney.

After a successful run with the heartwarming comedy Pumpernickel Junction, Simcoe Little Theatre is pivoting with an emotional journey in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. This acclaimed Broadway classic was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and has received countless play and television adaptations since the show’s debut in 1988. The play tells the story of Andrew and Melissa, who are childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with a birthday party thank-you note. They continue to exchange letters through their college years, where Andy goes on to excel at Yale, and Melissa flunks out of a series of “good schools.” As they slowly grow apart, it becomes clear how much they really meant and gave to one another.

Directed by Melissa Collver, Love Letters’ focus rests on the correspondence itself and the emotion it stirs within the characters and the audience. “In an age of instant messaging and social media, a lifetime of letter writing is a rare and powerful form of communication,” says Collver. “I am very pleased to be back at Simcoe Little Theatre directing this unique theatre experience.” 

Subscriptions and Ticket Pricing:

Tickets are on sale now at simcoelittletheatre.org or by contacting the box office at 519-583-0505. For patrons who saw Pumpernickel Junction, a limited-time offer to upgrade your single ticket to a season subscription makes your ticket to Love Letters and May’s production of Race Day only $19 each. Contact the Lighthouse Festival Box Office directly in person or by phone for further details. The following prices for single tickets include all taxes and charges with no hidden fees:

  • Single ticket: $22
  • Student ticket: $10
  • Opening night ticket: $25 (Opening night celebrations let patrons mingle with the cast and crew after the show while enjoying complimentary eats from local restaurants)

Where Community Stars Shine:

Since the 1940s, Simcoe Little Theatre has been a beacon of the arts in Norfolk County that provides a safe space for the community to develop their talents, passion and find a sense of belonging. All while producing quality amateur entertainment for the Norfolk County area. Simcoe Little Theatre operates by the motto: “Where community stars shine”. Now, following a partnership with Lighthouse Festival in the summer of 2021 that allows Lighthouse Festival to handle administration, facility upkeep, marketing, and publicity duties; Simcoe Little Theatre has the security to be viable for generations to come and embrace that motto. Local community artists and volunteers can continue to dream and inspire on the Simcoe Little Theatre stage and focus on what really matters, producing great community theatre!
Simcoe Little Theatre has maintained a proud tradition of community theatre run by the community for the community for over 75 years. Lighthouse Festival could not be prouder to support and empower all of the local artists who will continue to entertain the next generation of theatre lovers in Norfolk

Cast & crew are available for interviews:

Contact Don Kearney-Bourque, Marketing & Communications Officer, at 289-541-7410 or 519-583-1031 x 225 and via e-mail at don@lighthousetheatre.com.