"Play with much entertainment value"
by Debra Hall for remotegoat on 02/11/09

This was an enjoyable show and obviously widely publicised within Birmingham's black community judging by the large turn-out. The experience for me was a cultural feast as the show included social reference that was synonymous to its audience and was performed, in the main, by black actors and musicians.
The audience was wonderfully warm, and right from the very start of the play people began to respond to the actors on stage, by calling out to them, or by laughing loudly and clapping frequently and all this happened without little or no prompting -the atmosphere was all the more uplifting, in the first half in particular, because of it.

The popular theme is one in which we can all relate, as the title suggests, it is one of the trials and tribulations of love and relationships. It is performed in rhyme and song. The focus is on the love lives of four girl friends, although their stories do not form the constant theme throughout, as some scenes deviate to include other aspects of relationship and bring in different characters.

The highlights all happen in the first half before the interval, in particular when the elderly couple Leroy and Betty make an appearance on a TV show. They are celebrating fifty years together and they are asked to give an A - Z rendition of the secret of a successful marriage and it is well executed by these performers and was giggling funny for me. As it is in a similar setting where a glamorous host called Muddy Slinger presents a Jerry Springer type show, she introduces a young girl called Jazz who is using the opportunity to ward off a rival who is preying on her boyfriend. He, who we never actually see, turns out to be a love rat in more ways than one. Muddy Slinger is more interested in her own self image and fuss's over her set i.e. the settees, cushions etc. rather than the plight of her studio guests - she, and her security man, in this scene are hilarious!

This is definitely a show of two halves. I expected to hear more music and songs in the first half, but despite the lack of it I was happy and buzzing at the interval nevertheless. Whereas, for the remainder of the show there actually is more of the storyline presented using soulful music and harmonious songs/singing, which is cheering, but disappointingly the comedy dries up and speaking performances are flat and no longer flow. This deflation was reflected in a more subdued audience second half.

I could not help but make comparisons to Joe DiPietro's musical comedy 'I love you, you're perfect, now change' - it being a show that has a theme based on the same topic with the same approach as this one, and elements of 'Love Sax and all that Jazz' does go toward matching that of the famous play, which is no mean feat on the part of writer Alan Charles.

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