A Capital Affair

The characters in Brock Simpson's coy musical This Could Be Love, named simply He and She, meet cute. He (Graham Rowat) and She (Krista Sutton) are both waiting for blind dates who appear to have stood them up. It's not long before they strike up a conversation and console each other, discussing each other's jobs—He is a jingle writer, She's a corporate temp—and their quirks, including He's obsession with memorizing the capitals of all the countries around the world. And then they elope.

Then comes the rest of Love, as He and She try to negotiate an actual relationship with each another. This show, directed by Dennis Garnhum and presented at the New York Musical Theater Festival, starts out charming, and Rowat and Sutton are outstanding, but it is not long before Love starts to run out of steam. With the absence of any greater conflict, Simpson creates a lot of stops and starts to their relationship, and the little moments that should feel light end up feeling weighted down. When He ends up using "their" song as a jingle, She flies off the handle, but it seems a little rash.

Still, both stars (and they deserve to be famous someday, with their great looks and outstanding charisma) give their all, and Love has some great flourishes, including an ingenious costuming concept that has the two sporting various black T-shirts stating what their actual attire should be (e.g., "Smart Casual," "Suit and Tie," and even "Naked"). Rowat also has a field day interjecting the names of various capitals at choice moments. Furthermore, both leads are also excellent singers, but the songs eventually feel redundant. How often can someone sing about the same thing?

Still, Love is a hard show not to like; like both characters, its heart is certainly in the right place. As in any relationship, all parties should be able to work out the little bumps in the road for a smoother ride.

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