Though not all of its choreographed, wordless love stories have a happy ending, the Old Globe’s world-premiere In Your Arms is a joyous experience for the theatergoer and a triumph of artistic collaboration. Its 10 vignettes were written by major playwrights including Christopher Durang, Terrence McNally and David Henry Hwang. Tony winner Christopher Gattelli is responsible for the direction and for the diverse, frequently exciting choreography. The original music is by Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime), with lyrics by his collaborator Lynn Ahrens.
The overarching theme of the vignettes, most of which tell their stories completely in dance (from an impressive ensemble), is romance. While we get the cutesy (Alfred Uhry’s “Love with the Top Down”) and the overly sentimental (Marsha Norman’s “Life Long Love”), we also get Nilo Cruz’s sensual “The Lover’s Jacket,” Lynn Nottage’s heart-stopping “A Wedding Dance,” Carrie Fisher’s hilarious “Lowdown Messy Shame” and, best of all, Hwang’s clever, cinematic “White Snake.” There’s something for every taste and every lover.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat