Mark Baratelli,the producer of The Daily City, invited me to attend a performance of Five Course Love at the Winter Park Playhouse (711-C Orange Ave., Winter Park). In this play, three actors each got to play five different parts. The music was fun and the action comical as mismatched couples met at restaurants. Mark was hilarious as a waiter at each of the restaurants and each scene would invariable be punctuated by the sound dishes crashing to the floor in the off stage kitchen and Mark world offer the comic refrain, " Oops, there is trouble in the kitchen!"
Michelle Knight was absolutely fantastic as the female lead. Her singing voice is amazing. I had sketched her once before when she performed in "My Fair Lady". As Barbie she played a Saucy Texas gal who would do anything to woo her man, a blind date named Matt played by Christopher Alan Norton. Unfortunately her date was actually at the next table which left Matt frustratingly alone.
I sketched Christopher Leavy on piano and Sam Forrest on drums since I knew the action on stage was going to change often. When Mark came out on stage in lederhosen, I laughed out loud. Michelle, playing Gretchen, was in a hot tight red leather outfit and she had a whip. She climbed up on the piano and sang her lament. Stricken, I stopped sketching and listened. In the final scene, she played kitty who spent all her time reading about love yet never experienced life. It turns out she was perfect for Matt, a young man who was also unlucky in love. When they meet each other, Mark Bartelli came out on stage as cupid with large white angels wings pirouetting like a ballet dancer. It turns out Mark is classically trained in ballet but I was laughing too loud to care.
Five Course Love is playing through February 13th 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $35 evenings, $33 seniors, $26 matinees, $20 students and entertainment-industry professionals. Bring your love right before Valentines Day. You will laugh so hard it hurts and y0u might fall in love all over again.