1952, scriptwriter George Axelrod scored a major success with The Seven Year Itch, a Broadway comedy
about a married man whose fantasy life gets a little out of control when he
meets a beautiful young woman. Decades later, Jeremy Desmon updated the story
in a compelling exploration of extramarital fantasy with The Girl in the Frame. In Desmon’s well-received musical comedy,
both husband and wife engage in
extramarital affairs with fantasy figures. Next week, In Tandem Theatre opens the
Simon Provan and Alison Mary Forbes play Alex and Laney, a young married couple celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary while living in a small apartment. Provan last appeared with In Tandem in various roles of Ha!—the very first production at the Tenth Street Theatre. Forbes is best known for her role as the drunken librarian in In Tandem’s A Cudahy Caroler Christmas.
young couple has very little time to celebrate their anniversary as Laney is
suddenly called away to
The apartment becomes quite crowded with four people in it, and the small space at the Tenth Street Theatre is perfect to accentuate the comedy of fantasy and intimacy. Alex and Laney’s apartment is tiny but upscale, which could pose problems for a musical requiring a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a front door. Set designer and In Tandem co-founder Chris Flieller did some research, however, and came up with some interesting solutions. Flieller, a talented actor in his own right, has shown considerable talent for designing the company’s set on a budget.
The biggest challenge with respect to Desmon’s musical might be the tone. The absurdity of romantic fantasies coming to life has to balance with the story’s human nature, without compromising the pacing of an American musical format. Jane Flieller’s perspective on the show is reassuringly sophisticated. “Alex and Laney…embrace a world of fantasy because it’s easier than facing their own relationship dilemma,” she says. “The issue that arises in Girl in the Frame is universal: Is it truly better to live in a fantasy world than to embrace reality, warts and all?”
The Girl in The Frame closes June 15.