There are plenty of theatrical alternatives to Valentine’s Day for the non-soppy types out there, and this blog will be looking at a few interesting ‘anti-Valentine’s’ gigs later in the week. However, romantics will find love in the air at the Unity Theatre, as the off-Broadway hit I Love You Because makes its debut.
A four night run from February 12 to 15, the show is described as “a sweet, funny, modern day twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice”. Austin Bennet’s life is turned upside down when he finds his long-term girlfriend in bed with another man. Forced back out into the New York dating scene, he meets Marcy Fitzwilliams, a flighty photographer whose spontaneity is matched only by her ability to drive him insane.
Written by Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, I Love You Because was the pair’s thesis musical in New York University’s graduate musical theatre writing programme. It went on to open off-Broadway in 2006, and earned its writers a Drama Desk nomination. It has since been produced all around the world.
And in Liverpool, it’s another show from Lights Up Entertainment, an up-and-coming company that is developing a niche in the city for bringing modern American musical theatre to a wider audience. They were behind last year’s I Guess I Wish, and many of the cast of I Love You Because are recent graduates of Liverpool University’s own musical theatre group LUST, which impressed in 2012 with its production of Bare.
The producers say: “As soon as we listened to the original cast recording we knew we wanted to put on this show one day. It is so cleverly written, so funny but at the same time it’s such a heart-warming story “We always describe it as a cross over between sitcoms such as Friends or How I Met Your Mother, with a touch of When Harry Met Sally.”
Tickets for the Tuesday preview are £9/£7 (concs). Tickets for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are £10/£8 (concs), available online at from the Unity’s website. Here’s a clip from the original production: