By Bob Nelson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Walnut Street Theatre has opened a new season with the American premiere of “Love Story, The Musical.”

Erich Segal’s popular novel Love Story found its way first into print, then into film, and now live theatre.

It’s an extended theatrical piece directed by Annabel Bolton, who comes from Britain to Philadelphia to supervise the current production.

It’s a powerful and unusual show, with shifting emotions, a five-member cast, and a limited musical score. There’s a gentle theatrical drive making a surprising shift into tragedy.

Alexandra Silber and Will Reynolds are two of the featured players involved in this transplanted British production.

The set is wide and appropriate: emotional but worth the assemblage.

“Love Story, The Musical”  may not be what we’d term a “strict musical,” but with all the elements collected it certainly packs  a grim yet audience-pleasing conclusion.

“Love Story, The Musical” runs through October 21st at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street in center city Philadelphia.

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