Theatre on the Square in downtown Indy opens its season with a locally-concocted new rom-com musical, “Enter Love.”
Set in an international airport not unlike the big terminal on the city’s west side, we meet bartender Alex (Jill Kelly). She welcomes all, speaking across the fourth wall to us and dispensing advice to various travelers, but she’s no angel. Alex loves married pilot Grant (Lincoln Slentz), who feels torn because his home has a wife he doesn’t love but a son he adores.
Other characters include former Greenfield resident Nathalie Cruz as a flight attendant and Kristin Watson Heintz as her fiancé; Joanna Winston as Alex’s best friend, a frequent flyer who lands in one bad relationship after another; Clay Mabbitt as “Rum and Coke” Frank, another frequent traveler leaving his wife and scruples at home; Danny Kingston as Austin, a traveling salesman torn between his need to make a living and his feelings for his husband and new child; Jenny Reber as a soldier about to deploy and Ramon Hutchins as her boyfriend who is afraid to commit; and Josiah McCruiston alternating as Harold and Fern, a preacher and his wife offering their wisdom to others as they try to locate each other.
In addition, Kingston and Reber make comic appearances as silly flight crew members, including helping to warm up the audience before the show.
This funny and charming musical, from an original concept by Don Seybold with book, direction and choreography by Kenny Shepard and music by Lynn Lupold and Jeff Bowen, gives the unusual the feel of the ordinary — in a good way. The airport can be its own little world, so unconventional relationships don’t seem odd, such as the gay marriages and the fact that the departing-soldier-and-significant-other scenario has the woman in uniform rather than the man. In this context, those involved in infidelity become more complex characters, neither entirely bad nor virtuous.
All actors do well, but we are especially charmed by McCruiston; his Fern is a sassy force of nature.
The songs are nice with clever lyrics. Among the most memorable is “Josette,” as the others help Austin with his fear of flying by helping him “name” the aircraft.
There’s a bit of mature language and content, but overall it’s a PG-13 level show. If you have a layover on Massachusetts Avenue, get on board before the final departure Sunday. Call 317-685-8687 or see tots.org.