Love Letters

Love Letters

by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Julie Vorus
October 7-9, 14-16, 2011


Andrew Makepeace Ladd III.........Joe Narsavage
Melissa Gardner ..........................Julie Vorus


This critically acclaimed play, which the Wall Street Journal called “exhilarating, funny, and moving,” has attracted tens of thousands of audience members to presentations around the world. It has been performed by a list of recognized actors that reads like a “Who’s Who” of Oscar and Emmy award winners: Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones, Lynn Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Kathleen Turner, Christopher Walken, Richard Kiley, Marsha Mason, George Segal, Stockard Channing, Jason Robards, Julie Harris, Elizabeth Montgomery, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Timothy Hutton…and the list goes on. The play traces the lifelong correspondence between staid, dutiful lawyer Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and lively, unstable artist Melissa Gardner. The compelling story of their bittersweet relationship gradually unfolds from what is written--and left unsaid--in their letters, cards, and notes to each other from childhood through middle age. This particular production recently made its triumphant “off Broadway” debut when, after weeks of preparation by the actors, BLT hosted a one-night, special performance to benefit a church congregation in Transylvania County that had lost its building to a devastating fire. A financial and artistic success, the performance ended with a standing ovation, shouts of “You were awesome!” and subsequent, complimentary notes to Ms. Vorus and Mr. Narsavage from audience members. In the light of such an auspicious debut, BLT’s board of directors deemed the production worthy to replace Arsenic and Old Lace when that play could not be cast.

Nevertheless, the show is not for everyone. Despite its simple premise and staging, Love Letters gives more sophisticated theatre-goers the opportunity to build their own visual framework in which to encase the words and emotions expressed by the actors. The audience members, initially only amused observers, are ultimately drawn into the whirlwind surrounding the characters—emotions and situations often described in “adults only” language. Patrons seeking a stimulating, challenging theatre experience will find it in Love Letters.