The Korea Herald


‘Love List’ explores friendship, romantic ideals

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 22, 2016 - 17:13

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While it might sound easy enough to list 10 things you want in a romantic partner, would it work out as you expect if you met someone who perfectly matches them?

That’s the teaser posed by Changwon Community Theater’s next production, Norm Foster’s comedy “The Love List,” in which two men’s attempt to do just that turns into an exploration of their friendship.

The play centers on the friendship between divorcee Bill and novel-writing playboy Leon. When Leon signs his friend up to a dating service as a 40th birthday gift, the two have to fill out a list of the top 10 things he wants in a woman.

From left: Jake Clark, Lynda Dawkins and Michael Scott Newton will perform Norm Foster’s ”The Love List“ in Changwon on Dec. 3-4. (Sunil Mahtani) From left: Jake Clark, Lynda Dawkins and Michael Scott Newton will perform Norm Foster’s ”The Love List“ in Changwon on Dec. 3-4. (Sunil Mahtani)
“After they make the list of the top 10 qualities that he wants in a woman, he does meet her and the bulk of the play is about what happens when you get everything you want,” says director Sunil Mahtani. “It’s a bit like, ‘Be careful what you wish for, you may not want what you get.’”

The author is one of Canada’s most produced playwrights.

“The reason his work is so good is that he takes ordinary people and he just puts them in situations that are a little out of their comfort zone and we watch what happens and it’s very funny,” he said.

The play opens with one of the funniest sections, Mahtani explained, as the two men try to draw up the list together, despite having different ideas about what they look for in a woman. Bill is rather taken aback by Leon’s rather adult opening suggestion, and Mahtani suggested this was one of Foster’s ways of having fun with Canada’s more conservative theatergoers.

Mahtani said that the script had enough twists to keep the audience guessing, so he focused a lot on comic timing and making sure the jokes land.

“We add a lot of physicality to the jokes as well, because a lot of our audience members are Korean and I am not sure if they will be able to understand if we just spoke the play,” he said.

He added that the friendship between Bill and Leon also gave the play a poignant foundation.

“One of the reasons I like Norm Foster so well is because he’s not just a mindless comedian,” he said.

“So I’m also trying to bring out the friendship between the two men and how deep and real that is and why this main character is single.

“There is a reason. He is a bit of a damaged person and so in a couple of the non-hilarious moments of the play we really show that he’s a real person with some problems and that these two friends have a deep relationship.”

The play runs at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Changwon Civic Stadium’s Little Theater. Tickets are 15,000 won ($13). See the Changwon Community Theater Facebook page for booking information.

By Paul Kerry (