Spring is finally here, and love is in the air in Falmouth. Footlights Theatre is premiering Douglas Abel’s one-act play “Quartet Roulette: Taking a Chance on Love.” The production lets the good times roll with a quartet of love stories that revel in the fact that love and life are full of surprises.

Three actors play nine characters who find themselves gambling on love in a variety of places. Two women swig cosmopolitans while discussing matters of the heart; two classmates reunite at a reunion; two men meet at a gay bar; and two women vie for the attention of a doggy dad at the dog park. All stories are a combination of the sweet and delightfully idiosyncratic.

It’s a cast of two men and one woman. What do you do when the story calls for two women in the same scene? Put director Michael J. Tobin in a dress, of course! He’s smile-inducing as a cosmopolitan-swigging Southern confidant and a rapid dog park monitor. Tobin also entertains in his only male role, a cocksure bar patron.

Footlights is having a ball with the casting on this one. It’s a stacked deck, and there is more than one card up the theater’s sleeve to amuse the audience.  Who doesn’t like a little illusion?

Along with Tobin, the play stars Mark Calkins and Morgan Gavaletz LaMontagne. They don’t slip between genders like Tobin but have plenty of quirky characters to play with. Each character has a completely different personality, fashion sense and accent.

Calkins particularly shines as a nerdy reunion attendee, and Gavaletz LaMontagne is a hoot as a dog mom to a Jack Russell Terrier named Poopy. The two actors are frequently paired in the quartets and have a good handle on how to play off each other and their characters’ peculiarities.

The cast executes all wardrobe changes on stage, adding to the overall fun of the production. The audience gets to watch as the characters literally take shape before their collective eyes.

The construct of the production playfully allows the actors to read off scripts. This can distract from the characters and the flow of the play. Friday’s performance was a little glitchy, but overall entertaining.

“Quartet Roulette: Taking a Chance on Love” is a charming production about the chances we take for love. Like romance, the play is an unpredictable spin of the roulette wheel. Footlights’ hardworking cast tilts the odds in the audience’s favor, delivering performances that are a solid bet.

April Boyle is a freelance writer from Casco. She can be contacted at:

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