Singin' With The Pain: 'Divorce!' Takes Center Stage Playwright Erin Kamler makes light of one couple's journey through the painstaking divorce process in her new production, Divorce! The Musical, opening on Valentine's Day at Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.
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Singin' With The Pain: 'Divorce!' Takes Center Stage

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Singin' With The Pain: 'Divorce!' Takes Center Stage

Singin' With The Pain: 'Divorce!' Takes Center Stage

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JACKI LYDEN, Host:

Unidentified Man: (Singing) Half of the woman and half of the man.

(SOUNDBITE OF "DIVORCE! THE MUSICAL")

LYDEN: Erin Kamler, created "Divorce! The Musical." It opens tonight, yes, on Valentine's night. And it tells a story of one couple untying the knot.

ERIN KAMLER: The story is about Penny and Rich who are a couple in their 30's who've been married for about four years and they decide to go their separate ways based on having different expectations about what marriage and relationships really should be. He wants a more traditional family and traditional life and she really wants to focus on her career. So, despite their genuine love for each other, they have different expectations, and so they decide to get a divorce.

LYDEN: They didn't talk about that before they got married, huh?

KAMLER: Apparently not.

LYDEN: All right.

KAMLER: Unidentified Group: (Singing) (Unintelligible).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG FROM "DIVORCE! THE MUSICAL")

LYDEN: Now, I don't want to tread too heavily here, but you yourself have been divorced. Did you draw on your own experience much?

KAMLER: I have been divorced. I've been divorced twice. And many of the people in my life have also been through it including my parents. I didn't draw on my actual personal experience, but I certainly drew from the power of emotions, you know, that I have experienced going through it. And then I've also observed other people going through it as well.

LYDEN: The divorce rate in our country is very high, everyone know, which is about, again, nearly one in two marriages ends in divorce.

KAMLER: That's right.

LYDEN: Second marriages, though, and you had one...

KAMLER: Mm-hmm.

LYDEN: ...some people would say, well, that really is the triumph of experience of a hope or perhaps hope over experience. Do you think it's harder?

KAMLER: I think in some ways, it is. I think for a lot of people, the expectations are so much higher even in the second marriage because you want to really get it right the second time. And then if and when it fails, it's that much farther of a fall.

LYDEN: Yeah. I want to talk a little bit about the other song we've got here, "Rebound Sucks."

KAMLER: Yes.

LYDEN: That sounds optimistic.

KAMLER: Unidentified Group: (Singing) Rebound (unintelligible). Come along take a ride (unintelligible).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REBOUND SUCKS")

LYDEN: (Unintelligible)?

KAMLER: It's actually, we're finding that our audiences in the preview weeks really want to talk about their own experiences and kind of, in a way, want to process what they've been through. And the musical gives them a way to kind of really to do that. After one of the performances last week for instance, I noticed a couple standing up right after the performance and the woman turned to who I imagined was her husband or whoever he was and she said, that's the way it happens. They just drag it out.

LYDEN: You have now been divorced twice. You're opening a musical called "Divorce!" on Valentine's Day. And I just want to ask if you have any special plans for this evening.

KAMLER: I plan to spend this evening with my boyfriend who's also the producer of the show and hopefully have a wonderful night.

LYDEN: Erin Kamler, we really want to wish a happy Valentine's Day.

KAMLER: Thank you. To you as well.

LYDEN: Thank you again, Erin Kamler.

KAMLER: Thank you.

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