LOVE GOES TO PRESS
July 9, 2012
It’s World War II, and the pressure is on to report from the front-- getting first hand accounts before first getting shot. The Mint Theater’s delicious production of “Love Goes To Press” (1946) directed by Jerry Ruiz is written by Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles, veteran female war correspondents of their time (1930’s – 1990’s).
In a comedy that lampoons a 1944 WWII camp in Italy, two attractive, female reporters upend the testosterone dominated, pressroom. The gang meets up in set designer Steven C. Kemp’s crumbling stone and wood press room split by a couch and table on one side--desk, and typewriter on the other.
Intent on making their residency miserable, the stuffy British Press Officer, Major Booke-Jervaux (Bradford Cover) tosses them in the frigid attic, inhabited by a single cot and clothesline of faded white tablecloths.
However, the supremely capable women (who travel with mink coats and tons of suitcases) activate their feminine wiles, sex appeal and ultra smarts, to scoop their cohorts.
When the women arrive, newspaper headlines scream about the impending marriage between a pretty, very girly chanteuse Daphne Rutherford (Margot White) and Annabelle Jones’ (Julie Jesneck) former reporter/husband Joe Rogers (the appealing Rob Breckenridge). Spousal rivalry split the marriage between Daphne and Joe, but not the attraction.
A hilarious botched up mission to the front transforms the pampered Ms. Rutherford into an unlikely heroine at the expense of Mason’s story and heroic acts.
Despite their independence and innate ability to wrangle trips to dangerous locations, the women are not immune to men and promises of marital bliss. But in this “war of the sexes” comedy, everyone comes off a little bit self-centered, and romantic; untiringly independent and intent on professional careers.
Driven by a strong cast and nicely scored characters, like Jay Patterson’s Tex Crowder, a good ‘ole guy always looking for an easy way out, “Love Goes to Press” celebrates the bravery of all who volunteer to document the incivilities of war.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis