Stop the presses! Help is on the way for the lovelorn! Here at last is an operator’s manual for getting love right. This heart-stopping and affectionate tribute to the classic romance comic books of the 1940’s and ’50’s is a whirlwind course in the hard won lessons of love.
Two typical romance comic heroines, Andrea and Felice become friends and share their single aspiration in life, finding the right man. Andrea resolves to find glamour and a rich husband by becoming a roller skating car hop and Felice, a girl who has been cursed with a brain, takes off her glasses, lets down her hair, and resolves to become dumb. They manage to fall in love with the same boy, Troy, a rich caring med student who is also the heir to Western Union. Troy is attracted to both of them but chooses Andrea. However, his evil mother sends him on a business to break up their romance and hires Kyle, a hard-boiled private eye, to get the goods on Andrea and prove she is a fortune hunter. Instead, Kyle falls in love with Andrea.
Felice, who has completely dumbed herself down to attract Troy to no avail, goes to New York City to become an actress. She findS more rejection and wanders into a Lonely Hearts Club where her heartache-induced spasms are mistaken for a new dance. Kyle, who has been masquerading as the heir to a Bolivian tin fortune, confesses his true identity to Andrea and sends her off to find Troy who has chosen to flaunt his mother’s wishes and return to his true love. Troy’s mother snaps an incriminating photo of Andrea giving Kyle one kiss that is intended to last for the rest of his life. Andrea thinks Kyle has set her up and tears off for the airport on her skates. Kyle gives chase, determined to win her from Troy. Troy tries to land his plane, suddenly remembering he never had flying lessons. Felice studies Portuguese aboard another home-bound airliner, hoping to captivate Troy after all. Their eventual collision is relayed in a throbbing tragedy song. All survive but Troy who is assumed dead.
Kyle and Andrea re-unite at his funeral which is also attended by Troy who has amnesia. When he comes to, he remembers loving Andrea, breaking Felice’s heart once more. She heads for Hollywood to become a star, swearing she is through with men. Andrea rejects Kyle, afraid of being poor. Kyle, who is heading for the Korean War, directs Troy to Andrea, after the two bond, agreeing that guys get second best in a romance comic. Andrea tells Troy she no longer loves him more than life itself because she found someone she loves even more. She is resolved to wait for Kyle.
Troy goes to Hollywood in search of Felice who rejects him and refuses to say her captions as written. She is fed up with life in a Love Comic and wants to escape from the life they force her to lead. The Editor wants Andrea to take Felice’s plot line, but Andrea convinces Felice that it is too soon to leave the safety of the world they know. It’s only 1959. They are much safer “In Here.” The Editor assigns them their final storylines. After a final round of accidents and mistaken identities, they end up in couples with the happy ending they’ve been so desperately seeking as paper hearts fall.
LOVE COMICS Book by SARAH SCHLESINGER and DAVID EVANS Music by DAVID EVANS Lyrics by SARAH SCHLESINGER Originally produced at George Street Playhouse; Gregory S. Hurst, Producing Artistic Director Love Comics was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 1995 NOTE: The names of the Composer, Lyricist and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring boldness and prominence and no less than 50% of the size of the largest letter in the title of the Play. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the Play. All Licensees of first-class and commercial second-class productions are required to provide in the biography section of theatre programs up to a 150 word bio of George Street Playhouse (to be obtained from TRW).
ANDREA (20’s): the archetypal romance comic heroine. She is perky, and sincere. She is the all-American girl. Everyone’s high school sweetheart. Her bank balance is small but she has a big heart.
FELICE (late 20’s): the girl who inspired the phrase, “guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” She tends to be a little overweight. In the course of the evening, she transforms from a plain girl into a Hollywood Sophisticate.
TROY (late 20’s): the romance comic hero-type with square shoulders and inky-black hair. He is wealthy, well-groomed, and at peace with his perfection.
KYLE (late 20’s): a hard-boiled private eye. His edges aren’t polished but he’s a sincere, direct guy whose heart has been perpetually broken. Editor: an unseen character, who is represented on stage as a deep, authoritative voice.
The vocal ranges for LOVE COMICS are quite negotiable. Only 4 people, 2 men and 2 women, and when it divides up, any one of them can be on the higher or lower parts. I’d just say that it needs strong singers, and for the men, one baritone, one higher baritone or tenor. And the women’s parts are pretty equal. – DAVID EVANS