ARTS........................................September 30, 2004
Comedy dissects life and love
by Gary Smith

If you don't have tickets for Norm Foster's hip comedy, The Love List, you'd better hurry up. When word gets around how much fun this urbane look at life, love and sex really is, Theatre Aquarius phones are going to ring off the wall. Now, I know some folks are sniffy about Norm Foster comedies. Blame that on the snob thing. For years the same folks hated everything Neil Simon put on Broadway. Fact is though, the big guy from Ancaster has mostly come up trumps with everything he's written.

Well, The Love List is no exception. It's funny, sophisticated and sexy- with just enough edge to keep you nailed to your seat. Two middle-aged guys try to create a list of attributes that will define the perfect female. When hotshot writer Leon and his more sensitive nebbish pal Bill put down on paper the things that turn their libidinous cranks, the luscious Justine appears. The world turns upside down. What might be a simple sex farce approaches something more serious as Foster looks at the way men look at women.

Major treat of this funny evening is the wonderful Janet Monid, reveling in the sexy role of turned-on Justine. Monid is one of the hidden treasures of theatre in this country and she has a real ball letting her hair down here, shaking off designer clothes to romp in silky blue nightie. She's playful, funny and electrically charged, romping through Max Reimer's first-rate staging like some sex kitten. C. David Johnson, late of Street Legal, is good too as Leon, the less sensitive member of this befuddled trio. And John Dolan, looking like some roly-poly leprechaun, has great fun with the role of Bill, discovering excitedly the real joys of easy, available sex. Dennis Horn's reconstructionist factory loft set is terrific, with a raw wood and brick look perfect for Foster's energized comedy.

Of course, the play strains credulity, most comedies do, so it doesn't do to dwell on the insanity too seriously. Vocal projection was a tad too low at the start of Saturday's matinee but things picked up noticeably after the first scene. If you want to laugh yourself silly and don't mind sexy banter The Love List is for you: Foster uncensored with gloves off and defences tugged down. Go have fun.

C. David Johnson and John Dolan in The Love List.