Based on Erich Segal's novel, Love Story tells the tale of upper-class Harvard student, Oliver Barrett IV, and his life-changing encounter with Radcliffe music major, Jenny Cavilleri. They meet in a library where the quick-witted Jenny charms Oliver into taking her for coffee. Though they're from different worlds, the two fall madly in love. Like any great love story, they make mistakes, work out compromises, face great trials and love passionately through it all.
The Walnut Street Theatre's production is charming while also heartbreaking. The extremely emotional story sweeps you through two romance-filled hours, all hinging on the grandiose and authentic chemistry between the two leads - Will Reynolds as Oliver and Alexandra Silber as Jenny. The opening number does nothing to lessen the utter sadness at the finale but you're left with an account of love that is relevant and inspiring.
The production elements of this show were almost perfect. The set was ideal and stylishly incorporated the orchestra onstage. The newlyweds' dinner scene was a particular favorite that was delightfully staged. The lighting warmly showcased the lovers and their journey. However, despite the pretty attire of the cast, the costumes didn't really show the class differences between the families.
Overall, the Walnut Street Theatre's Love Story is a romance that will transport you out of your seat and into the heart of Oliver and Jenny's amorous world. But be sure to bring your tissues and a loved one–this show's definitely a tearjerker.
Performances of Love Story by the Walnut Street Theatre run through October 21, 2012. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/.
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin