I Do! I Do! is a musical with a book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt which is based on the Jan de Hartog play The Fourposter. The two-character story spans fifty years, from 1895 to 1945, as it focuses on the ups and downs experienced by Agnes and Michael throughout their marriage.
In the opening scene, two Supreme Beings plan the beginning of the world with the relish of two slightly sadistic suburban wives decorating a living room. Once they’ve decided on the color scheme of the races, a little concerned that white people will feel slighted being such a boring color, they create sex and the sexes. Afraid women will have too many advantages, the Beings decide to make childbirth painful and to give men enormous egos as compensation. From this moment, the audience is whisked through the outrageous universe of Kathy and Mo, where two actresses play men and women struggling through the common rituals of modern life: teenagers on a date, sisters at their grandmother’s funeral, a man and a woman together in a country-western bar. With boundless humor, Parallel Lives reexamines the ongoing quest to find parity and love in a contest handicapped by capricious gods—or in this case, goddesses.