"I Do! I Do!" at the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre is a solidly enjoyable intimate two-character musical comedy about marriage. It follows Michael played by Steven Hauck and Agnes, Alice Vienneau, from 1890 to 1930. "I Do! I Do" takes place in their bedroom. We see Michael and Agnes from the nervous practicing of their vows and the fumbling fears of their wedding night through forty years of some of the joys and the pains of their marriage. The book and lyrics are by Tom Jones and the music by Harvey Schmidt. They’re the same team that wrote. "The Fantasticks."
Songs trace the story of "I Do! I Do!" There’s the early warmth of "My Cup Runneth Over with Love," a cautionary "Nobody’s Perfect," and outright anger as the first act ends with "The Honeymoon is Over." The second act begins wistfully with "Where Are the Snows," and moves to humor in "When the Kids Get Married." Agnes has some serious questions of the role of women in marriage in "What is a Woman" and the two warmly say goodby in "This House."
"I Do! I Do" is a small piece and the production directed by Tim Ocel takes advantage of the intimacy of the IRT’s small upstairs theatre. In a few scenes the actors talked directly to the audience. A woman a couple of rows in front of me caught Agnes’s wedding bouquet. Men in the front row got celebratory cigars from Michael on the birth of his son. Steven Hauck and Alice Vienneau are thoroughly professional, handle the aging through forty years with aplomb and are just generally delightful. The orchestra was a sensitive pair of pianists, Terry Woods and Tammy Anderson, clearly visible as they played from a balcony at the rear of the stage.
The Indianapolis Repertory Theatre’s production of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s musical "I Do! I Do!" plays through December 5.