Editor's Note: The Broadway show More to Love, by (and starring) radio personality Rob Bartlett, closed in October after five performances. This comedy about the travails of a Long Island-based comedian facing his 40th birthday received poor reviews. However, even the most negative critic had words of praise for David Gallo's setting, the wildly cluttered interior of a suburban garage. Here's Gallo on the design:
"We started out of town with a different director. The whole idea of the design was different then--it was to be the garage of Rob Bartlett's imagination. By the time we got to New York, we began with him in a comedy club--all you saw was him standing in front of a black scrim. Then that flew out and you saw the basketball hoop and the garage door. He yelled offstage to his wife, something like, 'Yeah, I'm going to clean it all up. It should take me a couple of hours.' Then the garage door opened and you saw all this junk piled high, which got a big laugh.
"Rob used a lot of the props during his scenes. For example, he told a children's story, called 'Brown Nose Bear,' but he used all these ugly little creatures--plastic dinosaurs, a Christmas decoration of a choirboy, and other found objects--to act it out.
"The original director left in Stamford, CT, where we tried out. When Jack O'Brien came in to take over, he wanted a more realistic, grounded approach to the material. Originally, the garage was just a towering pile of junk in a black void. But Jack wanted a real garage, so we added walls and a roof. There was still a big fantasy element, though. When Jack came in, we added all the gags with Rob's agent [played by Joyce Van Patten], who kept appearing out of nowhere, to annoy him--one time she popped out of the fuse box. Also, Rob's wife [played by Dana Reeve] sang a musical number--she popped out of a cardboard carton, did the song, and exited through a steamer trunk.
"So much of this show was done by my prop staff. The original prop people were Ed Sweeney and Stephanie Ferrante, who was the shopper. My assistant was Rob Andrusko. Then, when the show came into New York, Lauren Helperen became my associate designer and she worked with Michael Smanko and Harlan Silverstein. The scenery was built by Showmotion, of Norwalk, CT, and all the soft goods were by I. Weiss."