Don’t Touch Me – Celebrate Valentine’s Day No Square-style on Saturday, Feb. 10

By MARRIE STONE

You never know where you might find love, even if you’re not looking for it. But it’s possible you’ll find it at No Square Theatre this weekend. For the first time ever, No Square’s (almost) annual Anti-Valentine’s Day concert is preceded by a “Singles Mingle” event. Beginning an hour before showtime, singles seeking some Valentine’s Day action (or even a little company) are invited to share a drink and gain early access to seats. If you’re lucky, you just might get lucky…or at least find someone to sit with.

For the rest of us, No Square once again promises to bring 30 hilarious numbers celebrating the good, the bad and the downright ugly sides of love. “All the songs are existing pop songs or showtunes that have to do with how love – or loss of love – can make us lose our minds in a way,” said Director Ella Wyatt. “It will definitely be a night of laughs, and the show is definitely not for kids.”

The 14-member cast blends No Square regulars with some new recruits. Eric Anderson, Sophia Barajas, Bree Burgess-Rosen, Garrett Claud, Lily Edwards, Ash Frost, Gary Green, Marc Marger, Abby Matossian, Sophie Matossian, Harper O’Loughlin, Steven Pepper, Sammi Wallschlaeger and Ella Wyatt will all appear, accompanied by musical director Roxanna Ward who will, no doubt, add her signature improvisational humor to the show.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of No Square Theatre

No Square Theatre Director Ella Wyatt will sing and direct this year’s (almost) annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Concert on stage Saturday, Feb. 10

Get ready for an emotional ride through love, loss, desire, heartache, sex, romance and all its messy aftermath. The show includes excerpts from the Grease soundtrack, songs from the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series and a tune from the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde musical. “There’s a great group number called ‘Let’s Generalize About Men,’” said Steven Pepper, who’s performing for the first time on the No Square stage. “It’s a very tongue-in-cheek number.”

Another No Square newcomer, Lily Edwards, agreed. “I must admit that I chortled out loud the first time I listened to [it],” she said. “Many of my fave lyrics are dropped in that song!”

Pepper also pointed out songs like “Oh My God, I Think I Like You,” about our current hookup culture and “the weirdness of having romantic feelings in the 21st century.” Imagine the horror of developing feelings for your friend-with-benefits!

Some of Wyatt’s own favorites include “Big French Boyfriend” from Toxic Avenger and “The Hot Dog Song” from Bullets Over Broadway. Abby Matossian, who sings “The Hot Dog Song,” loves it too. “There’s a section where she does an interpretive dance, but the audience interprets it one way, and the Catholic Church interprets it another,” Matossian said. “It makes me laugh considering the fact that I have never seen anyone actually perform the song.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Abby Matossian who performed in No Square’s 2022 show “Footloose” and their 2023 production of “SpongeBob”

For the hopeless romantics in the audience, there are a few love songs. Longtime No Square performer Marc Marger will sing “Fifty Percent” from the 1979 musical Ballroom. “Originally it’s a woman’s role, but it’s such a powerful song,” Marger said. “It’s absolutely gorgeous.”

All this talk of hookups and mischief made me wonder about real-life sex, love and romance on the No Square stage. Is it a thing? Turns out, yes! “When we did Heathers in 2019, our actors who played Heather Chandler and JD (Rhyan and Ricky) met and fell in love during the show, and now they’re married!” said Wyatt. “We’ve had plenty of other couples date, but that one is the most impressive.”

“I think anytime actors work closely together for long periods of time, there tends to be what’s called ‘showmances,’” Marger said. “I can’t attest to any in this show because we have such a short rehearsal time. But I’ve seen many, many showmances develop. And I’ve heard about completely off-the-grid showmances several months later.”

No Square Theatre regular Marc Marger

“When I thought I was straight, I had two different showmances,” Pepper said. “One of them was in a production of Cinderella [I worked on with Ella Wyatt]. I dated the stepmother. Then I was in the production of Les Misérables and I dated the person I was supposedly romantically involved with, so that was very cute. But that’s clearly all ancient history.”

Click open story button to continue reading…

Click on photo for a larger image

No Square Theatre newcomer Steven Pepper

Edwards also found her girlfriend through the theater. “I have personally found romantic and platonic love because of the stage,” she said. “My closest friends and my girlfriend are all from different theater experiences and shows we all participated in.”

“There’s something about all that camaraderie and weird chemical energy of being in a rehearsal process,” Pepper said. “At least one couple has hooked up in every show that I’ve been in. Being in the same circles and in a condensed period of time brings people together.”

For some, no surprise, their personal feelings about the holiday ebb and flow depending on how their own love lives are going. “I’ve honestly never been the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, but I think that’s the residual ick from the years of little cards shoved in cereal boxes throughout school,” Edwards said. “Now that I have a loving partner who loves the holiday, I have become more open to celebrating it. Besides, it’s an excuse to get some See’s Candy, and that’s the greatest thing ever.”

Click on photo for a larger image

No Square Theatre newcomer Lily Edwards

“Most years, I spend the day trying to make fun of the idea by watching all the Valentine’s Day episodes of 30 Rock and drinking an entire bottle of Champagne by myself,” Pepper said. “But it’s fun to [celebrate] when you have someone, so I selfishly changed my mind depending on the way the wind is blowing.”

“Having been married for many years, Valentine’s Day is not a big holiday for me, even though we do celebrate it,” Marger said. “I think it tends to hold more meaning in newer relationships.”

Then there are the sweet romantics who, at least in this case, happen to also be women. “I love Valentine’s Day!” Matossian said. “Every year I skip school, get up at 5 a.m., make myself coffee and watch Romcoms all day! It’s like my favorite thing ever even though I have never actually had a valentine.”

Wyatt loves it, too. “I know that it is generally associated with romantic love, but I think it’s so special to have a day to reflect on all the people you love,” she said. “Whether that be friends, family, or a romantic partner.”

Whether you love it, hate it, or just love to hate it, No Square promises to put an uplifting and hilarious spin on the holiday. “It’s definitely a great way to [commemorate] a season that can be melancholy or, for people like me who don’t love being alone on Valentine’s Day, it’s a great way to have a little fun and still celebrate,” Pepper said. “It’s a good way to reclaim the day for yourself, because we’re making fun of the whole idea, but in good faith.”

Click on photo for a larger image

The cast rehearses with Music Director Roxanna Ward for their upcoming performance of “Don’t Touch Me,” on stage this Saturday night, Feb. 10

This one-night-only show happens on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8: p.m. The Singles Mingle event begins at 7 p.m. General admission price is $20; Singles Mingle admission is $25. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the No Square Theatre website by clicking here.


Slide
Slide
Slide 3
Slide 4

Send this to a friend