If there’s one thing to be learned from Michael Stewart’s “I Love My Wife,” it’s that even the most taboo subjects are socially acceptable when paired with a jaunty tune. Starring Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”) and Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future”), “I Love My Wife” is a musical about two couples who find themselves agreeing to a menage-a-quatre. Seriously.
Set in the wild and crazy ’70s, the songs in the show cover everything from threesomes to marijuana use to sexual liberation. The unabashed language combined with the skilled team of musicians creates an odd reaction of covering one’s mouth in horror while still tapping your toe to the beat.
Alexander excellently plays the very George Costanza-esque character, Alvin, who’s “stuck in the sexual experiences of 30 years ago,” according to his best friend Wally, played by Patrick Cassidy. Wally then convinces Alvin to talk his wife Cleo, played by Vicki Lewis, into having a threesome.
Once Alvin sets his sights on Wally’s wife Monica, played by Thompson, things become a little more complicated. Alvin, Cleo and Wally eventually decide that the best way to have a sexual experience is to approach it with a “the more the merrier” kind of attitude. This is how, on Christmas Eve, all four characters find each other disrobed in the same bed.
Thompson is a standout in the scenes leading up to the moment in the bedroom and plays the moody and unpredictable Monica with a humorous, lovable twist. Alongside Thompson’s unwilling Monica, Lewis plays the very eager Cleo extremely well and becomes even more enjoyable to watch once she starts singing.
Even better than the four actors’ individual talents was that they became even more amazing together.
In the end, the characters never lose their menage-a-quatre virginity together once Alvin can’t help but admit to the others, “I love my wife.” It’s probably for the best though. If three is already a crowd, it’s probably best not to know what four is.
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