GAIL MARTIN, Independent Editor
If you have ever spent any time at all imagining your dream guy or girl, The Love List is for you.
Norm Foster’s hilarious offering is now being performed at the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre.
The premise of the play is simple — Bill, a scholarly statistician, has not dated since his divorce seven years ago. His best friend Leon, decides to get him a very special present for his 50th birthday — the matchmaking services of Gotta Match.
Under protest, Bill comes up with his top ten qualities in a mate, on The Love List.
Leon, a notorious womanizer, provides much input and assistance, suggesting additions to the list that aren’t quite as deep and soul-searching as Bill’s.
Bill has no intention of following through with the list, but, as is only possible in the world of plays and movies, the dream woman of his list shows up at his door, ready to fulfill his every fantasy.
It only gets better from there, as Bill and Leon soon discover that any changes they make to the list will automatically show up in Justine, “the perfect woman.”
As they continually fiddle with Justine’s character and attributes, they eventually come to this conclusion — perfection isn’t nearly as satisfying as you might think, and men really don’t want to know what women are thinking.
The actors in this production are wonderful, with Bill (played by Ian Deakin) and Leon (played by Terry Barna) showing the camaraderie that exists only between long-time friends, and manage to convey the kind of friendship that is rare and precious, in spite of their many differences.
Jayme Armstrong, as Justine, is hilarious, showing a great range as her character goes through multiple personality changes through the course of the play, often in mid-sentence. Her character, which at the beginning seems to be a great gift from the universe, slowly changes into a slightly frightening, unhinged woman who could do just about anything.
The actors all interact well with each other, and the timing for everything — including the many instances in which Justine ‘disappears’ into whatever parallel world she comes from — is impeccable.
There are also some nice touches, such as when Justine’s character starts singing after a recent addition to the list, and decides to sing a song from the Sound of Music — in which Armstrong played Maria earlier this year.
One note of caution — while the jokes in The Love List are undeniably funny, some audiences will find them on the crude side. There is also some swearing in the course of the play, so sensitive viewers may decide to give this play a pass.
The Love List runs from now until Dec. 23 in the intimate setting of the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre. For ticket information, visit www.draytonentertainment.com.