Charleston Alley Theatre presents ‘I Do, I Do’

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

“I Do, I Do,” a musical about the ups and downs of married life, is coming to the Charleston Alley Theatre this and next weekend.

Director Duke Bagger said the theatre is doing something a little different for this production, and Tenille Ulm, an Eastern alumna who is playing Agnes, deserves all the credit for it.

He said Ulm had the idea to unveil the production with two preview shows on Wednesday and Thursday, inviting senior citizens from local senior citizens’ homes to see the show for free.

“This is exciting for us,” Bagger said. “We want them to come, have a rewarding evening, have a chance to get out of wherever it is they’re living, whatever conditions with which they are dealing and come just to have two hours to kick back.”

Considering the fact that this production details the life experiences of a married couple, Ulm said she thinks senior citizens may personally connect with the story.

“I Do, I Do” takes a look at the lives of two married people—Michael and Agnes—and observes all the positives and negatives that come with married life in both lighthearted and dark tones, Bagger said.

“It’s all within the realm of a realistic look at a long-term marriage and how not every marriage has exactly the same challenges, but every marriage has challenges,” Bagger said.

Thomas MacMullen, an IT technical associate for Eastern who plays Michael, said this is a show he has wanted to do for decades.

He said his character Michael is a pompous man who writes “cheesy novels” for a living. His egotism tends to distract himself from the important things taking place in his and Agnes’ marriage, MacMullen said.

Agnes is a devoted wife and mother who happens to love shopping, Ulm said. She does not take her husband’s poor attitude well and starts “making fun of him” during the show, which Ulm does a great job of, MacMullen said.

MacMullen is good friends with Ulm, which made the entire rehearsal process a smooth and fun one, he said.

Ulm said this will be her first time singing in front of a live audience in 20 years, so she cannot help but feel a little nervous to perform.

Some reassurance from a vocal trainer has helped manage the pre-show stress, she said.

“I went to Shelbyville and I got some vocal training—two days of it—and (the vocal trainer) was like, ‘Hey, you’re not so bad,’” Ulm said. “That was the confidence I think I needed because she said that I was not so bad, and that helped.”

Show times this week include Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Show times for next week include May 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. and May 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are sold for $12.

The Charleston Alley Theatre is located at 718 Monroe Avenue.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].