“Nobody’s perfect” sing the central characters, Michael and Agnes, near the end of the first act of the 1966 Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt musical I Do! I Do! While that is true, you would be hard-pressed to find a more perfect little jewel of a show than this musical adaptation of Jan de Hartog’s play The Fourposter. It is an exquisite piece, touching on so many universal truths as it explores the ups and downs of married life.
To work on stage the musical requires two dynamite performers whose strengths compliment the other’s, each able to hold the stage for an entire performance while portraying believable and sympathetic characters – not to mention being able to sing and dance well!
All of these bases are covered and then some in The Civic Light Opera Company’s production at Fairview Library theatre where Joe Cascone is Michael and Caroline Moro-Dalicandro is Agnes. When they duet on the show’s hit song “My Cup Runneth Over” you believe there is genuine love there.
Cascone imbues the character of Michael with a compelling mixture of humour, frustration, and devotion. His wedding night song and dance “I Love My Wife” is a delight. The character of Michael may not always be the most sympathetic, but Cascone's innate charm overrides many of Michael’s flaws and you see right away why Agnes loves him.
As Agnes, Caroline Moro-Dalicandro gets plenty of opportunity to show off her beautiful voice. She can be tentative in “Goodnight,” testy in “Nobody’s perfect” (her delivery of the line “You chew in your sleep” is priceless!) and touchingly vulnerable in “What is a woman.” She delights in needling her on-stage husband with wonderful bits of business and even plays the violin (to hilarious results) in one number.
The pair is given admirable musical support by pianists Liane Fainsinger and Michael Wilmot who do just that: support the performers without ever overpowering them.
Gareth Crew’s lighting design effectively underscores the mood of each scene and helps mark the passage of time. The entire performance as staged by Larry Westlake flows beautifully from scene to song. I Do! I Do! may not be as well known as some of the other musicals of the late 1960s, but it is one of those special little shows that theatre buffs cherish and here’s your chance to discover why.