Gallery Players

Kristen and Chris Rusen star in the Gallery Players’ production of “I Do! I Do!”

Gallery Players and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus will host two virtual screenings of the two-person musical “I Do! I Do!” Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.

With the only characters being portrayed by real-life married couple Chris and Kristen Rusen, the production aims to entertain while also preventing the spread of COVID-19, according to a news release from the Columbus JCC. Intense safety precautions, modified rehearsals and long Zoom production meetings have allowed the show to go on.

“The company for the show is comprised of an experienced and talented team of Gallery Player veterans who are donating much of their time for this production,” said Shana Beigelman, community engagement program manager at the JCC, in the release. “Each one recognizes how critical it is to move forward with our season and many of whom have not worked at all in months due to COVID-19. Gallery Players is not just a theater, it is a community and it is a family. From donating props to helping with the sets, the community has answered our call for help.”

“I Do! I Do!” is an intimate and nostalgic work written as a star vehicle for theater legends Mary Martin and Robert Preston, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt. The original Broadway production received seven Tony Award nominations. And, the story of the two soul mates navigating the perils of life is set to a tuneful, charming score, according to the release.

The show begins with Michael and Agnes on their wedding day. Their vows behind them, they look forward to spending the rest of their lives together. The audience will watch as they go through their wedding night jitters, raise a family and negotiate midlife crises.

The first screening is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, and the second is at 2 p.m. Jan. 24. Tickets are $15 per screening device and available at columbusjcc.org/gallery-players.

“I Do! I Do!” is presented through a special arrangement with Musical Theatre International, and all authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, according to the release.

For more than 70 years, Gallery Players has produced high-quality shows for hundreds of audiences. Gallery Players produces theater of the highest artistic expression, reflecting a Jewish perspective while exploring our common humanity, the release said. It was the first community theater in Central Ohio to implement a casting policy that did not discriminate based on race, religion or gender, and aims to continue the tradition of inclusivity.

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