This immersive musical is set in a coffee shop. We can be drinking coffee and feel like we are just people watching those around us. Emily runs the coffee shop but she is really going through the motions since losing the love of her life five years earlier. But her life is about to change.
Joseph walks in for a coffee and asks to put his business card on her board. She looks at him sceptically as his card reads Psychic Songwriter & Healer. I would be sceptic too. But he offers her a challenge and she accepts. Over the next hour she can hear the inner songs of all her customers. These are not words they are saying out loud, but what she is hearing. We, the audience gets to hear them too.
We are introduced to Laura and her dad. She wants to pursue a career in acting but dad is not really on board with this. We hear about Debbie and Alfie. Debbie has had an awful day and its about to get worse as Alfie doesn’t feel their relationship is working out. There is a writer sitting in the back of the coffee shop trying to complete his latest piece. We hear how difficult it can be to be a writer. Robby works for Emily and has something troubling her. Joseph is still in the coffee shop and asks her what’s wrong. Robby seems earnest so its hard to keep a straight face when she tells him. Antonio and Davina have also both been in the shop for a while. Davina doesn’t feel secure in her relationship and worries she isn’t enough. She needs a hug. Don’t we all?
Jeanette and Tony come to chat with Robby who volunteers for the charity that Jeanette runs. It’s a heartfelt story and a worthy charity. Karl and Julia enter the coffee shop and its clear that there are issues between them. Julia has a black eye and has had enough. Karl cannot see the problem. This story is new to Café L’arté from the 2019 production and gives a gravatas to the show. Not everyone coming in to coffee shops are having a good time.
Emily cannot believe she is hearing all these stories. All these thoughts from her customers. But now it’s her turn. Her story. I will let you see the show for itself to find out what happens to Emily, but this is a fantastic musical. I love the immersive experience of being in a coffee shop and hearing those around you. I am sure many of you are also guilty of listening in to others conversations. I loved the character definition even though we only get snippets of each story. I would like to see a Netflix series of each character’s backstory. I want to know more! This show intrigues and entertains.
Frank Scarito has written, directed, produced and has a small part in this wonderful production. What a talent he is. I cannot rate this show highly enough. I loved it back when I first reviewed it and I still love it (possibly even more) now. The cast are all equally as blessed and it showcases the wealth of talent that we have in Milton Keynes. I was blown away at their performances and felt quite emotional at some scenes. This is a musical you will not forget in a hurry.
Catch it before it heads to Edinburgh fringe festival. Next performance is Monday 31 July at
Kilning Me Softly in Newport Pagnell. Tickets available here: https://crowdfund.edfringe.com/p/cafe-larte-milton-keynes-performances-1?fbclid=IwAR2sLAiFDZbxg5CkCW0_Sa040flLxbo5qK6VwSVaykrBvkXHNkavQ7Kj2tE