Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) opened its 2014/15 season last weekend with A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. This play uses the epistolary form, where two actors read letters onstage. Two well-known actors normally perform the play, and this has contributed to its popularity. Currently at DTC the two actors in this production are Michael Learned, known for her role as Olivia Walton on The Waltons, and Daniel Davis, most recognized for his role as Niles in The Nanny. Learned and Davis are perfect for this play, as they bring the story of the friendship between these two vivid characters to life.
Love Letters written by A.R Gurney tells the story of Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. Melissa is a free-spirit who likes to take risks, and Andy is more reserved, and he loves to write letters. This play takes the audience on a journey with these two characters from when they are in second grade, and spans a fifty-year period in which they talk about their hopes, dreams, ambitions and defeats.
Under the direction of Bud Martin, Love Letters is a show that is sweet and simple, and will make the audience feel an emotionally vested interest in the lives of these characters. Gurney’s language is wry, balanced and witty, and the talent of Learned and Davis makes this play a timeless piece. Learned and Davis have the difficult task of having to convey their emotions through facial expressions and minor body language while seated. Both these fine actors do this well as they successfully convey to the audience their successes and heartbreak throughout the span of the show. I found this play to be affecting as there were moments of mirth, as well as times of sorrow. Learned demonstrates Melissa’s bluntness throughout the show, just as Davis shows Andy’s passion and kindness. Love Letters reminds us all about the importance of friendships that profoundly touch our lives.
Love Letters runs at the Delaware Theatre Company through October 5, 2014. For more information and tickets visit their website at www.delawaretheatre.org or call their box office at 302-594-1100.
Final Thought: Love Letters is a beautiful show that tells the story of two friends and the ups and downs of their lives and their friendship. Michael Learned and Daniel Davis elegantly perform this show, and it is a wonderfully moving piece to start the season at DTC.
Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she is a contributor for the online site broadwayworld.com and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the Arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.