LaGrange College musical focuses on modern-day romance

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, April 13, 2024

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LaGrange College Theatre will close out its 2023-2024 season with “I Love You Because,” a comedy that explores the idea of navigating relationships in contemporary New York City.

Set in the heart of the ‘Big Apple,’ the musical centers on the lives of four 20-somethings, each one trying to find love in a modern world. One by one, they discover that true love doesn’t always fit their preconceived notions.

“These characters think about love in the same way that most of us do,” said LaGrange College Musical Theatre Professor Tim Fitz-Gerald, director and choreographer of the production. “We all have a notion of who our “ideal” romantic match will be. But then our hearts can steer us in a completely different direction.” 

Sophomores Isabella Rapoza and Aria Mabry, who play best friends Diana Bingley and Marcy Fitzwilliams, are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to finding love. “Diana works as an actuary, so she loves numbers,” Rapoza said. “She approaches every situation logically—even going so far as doing mathematical equations for her and Marcy’s love lives.”

Marcy, on the other hand, prefers to take a more impromptu approach to life and love.   “Marcy hates planning!” Mabry said. “She goes with the flow almost to a fault. But her past failed relationships have made her desperate enough to try Diana’s mathematical approach, which ironically includes finding a ‘Mr. Wrong’ before you can find ‘Mr. Right.’”

Their male counterparts, junior Will Gray and freshman Braeden Martin, play brothers Austin and Jeff Bennet.  They too have opposite perspectives on relationships.  

“He starts the play with a clear picture of the way things are—everything is very black and white in Austin’s world,” Gray said. “But as the show progresses and he’s introduced to different types of people and new ideas, he learns to look at things from a wider lens.”  

Jeff prefers a more carefree approach to romance.

“He is a true ladies’ man,” Martin said. “He will hit on every woman he sees and tries to help his brother loosen up and be more like him. But during the process, he falls head over heels for someone he didn’t even see coming!”

“In the end, the characters each learn a lesson that is important for all of us to remember,” Fitz-Gerald said. “To share your life with someone means that you love them not in spite of their flaws, but because of them.

The production opens April 18 and runs through April 21. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. 

Seating is general admission—no reservations are necessary. It is recommended for attendees to arrive early. The show is $10 for adults. Cash and check only. The production contains mature themes and is not recommended for children without parental guidance.