Say ‘I do! I do!’ to Chestnut production for a family-friendly evening

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Trials and tribulations come along with wedded bliss in The Chestnut Fine Arts’ production of “I do! I do!” running through Oct. 23 at the Olathe theatre .

The show features a talented cast of two, Licia Watson and Robert Gibby Brand providing all the song, dance, and humor while director and accompanist Brad Zimmerman tickles the ivories through the two act musical comedy.

The original Broadway production mounted the boards in the mid-1960s and starred two Broadway legends, Mary Martin and Robert Preston. “I do! I do!” played over 500 performances on the Great White Way, and has since spawned countless productions in theatres across the nation. The story follows a young couple through 50 years of marriage.

Producing Artistic Director, Brad Zimmerman chose to open The Chestnut’s 18th season with a musical comedy, and he selected a charming, family-friendly show that displays the ebb and flows of a long-term marriage. The show begins in the turn of the century times and progresses to about the 1950s, though no specific time line exists. The simple nature of marriage between two innocents seems unheard of in today’s society. Perhaps that is part of the charm of this show as the couple learns and grows together.

As Agnes, Licia Watson delivers a simple and charming wife. She is naive as the blushing bride, caring and loving as the show develops, the supportive home-body in child rearing times, and feisty when faced with prospects of divorce. Watson plays each phase of the character like a finely tuned violin. She just keeps showing more and more levels of Agnes as the show progresses. Musically, she is sound. Her singing and dancing just bring more fun to the show. Teamed with Robert Gibby Brand, the two are a force on stage.

In a light-hearted role, Robert Gibby Brand is delightful as the self-absorbed writer of romance novels. The fun part of Brand’s character is that even with his high opinion of himself, the love for Agnes still shines through. His vocal performance matches his strong on stage character. His facial expressions and dance scenes are absolutely engrossing.

Overall, “I do! I do!” provides about two hours of family friendly fun and music. The music is mostly upbeat and enjoyable. “My Cup Runneth Over” comes from the score and remains the only song most will remember. The rest of the music is fun and mostly lively. The script is simple and sweet. The theme is about family situations and how they change over the course of 50 years. The show definitely falls into the musical-comedy genre, and it does not challenge anyone to think about it too deeply. “I do! I do!” is pure enjoyment.

“I do! I do!” continues Wed.-Sat. evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets and more information, check The Chestnut website or call the theatre at 913.764.2121.




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