As he spun the story, it got more and more interesting. The 2nd half dealt with his dad’s WW2 experiences, the letters between his mom and dad, and their separation. The story got more tense but more touching.
The foundation of the presentation was the interaction between Ross (Robby) and Chuck Larkin, the piano accompanist, using appropriate (and his parents’ favorite) songs of the era that transitioned the events through time. I couldn’t help but think of Frank Sinatra at the bar, singing “One For My Baby”
to the bartender, or Ingrid Bergman asking Sam to play “As Time Goes By”. It is so easy to pour your heart out to the pianist at the bar or the bartender.
The piano, singing the old songs, the old photos projected appropriately, the warm storytelling, made this really work. It was not ‘ho-hum’ at all and, as it went on, this true love story grabbed my emotions. Ross (Robby) confesses, at the end, that it is not a happy ending as his parents succumbed to cancer
from heavy smoking. I liked that ‘real’ touch to end this musical journey. I walked out of there a believer in the story, the direction (Mark Lococo), the songs, and the accompanist. It was two hours well spent. As I have enjoyed ‘Midnight Special’ on WMFT and Prairie Home Companion with Garrison
Keeler, this production had that kind of folksy home town feeling.
The Citadel, that little theater in the North suburbs, seems to produce one gem after the other!
"Sentimental Journey” runs through May 26th at Citadel Theatre, 300 S Waukegan Rd, (just south of Route 60) Lake Forest. There is plenty of free parking.
Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm; and Sundays 3:00 pm. There is a Wednesday Matinee on May 15th at 1 p.m.
Tickets range from $40-$45 and can be purchased by calling 847-735-8554 ext 1 or online at www.citadeltheatre.org