The Last Romance
By Marlene S. Gaylinn
There are few productions that feature the plight of lonely, aging seniors and so, “The Last Romance,” by Joe Dipietro, was bound to be a hit with the grey-haired folks that usually crowd into Ivoryton Playhouse on a Wednesday afternoon. The play is both poignant and funny. Although it’s a standard joke that when you reach a certain age an ideal partner to hook up with is “...one that can still drive at night, “ the quip continued to hit home with the matinee audience.
And yet, 80-Yr. Old widower, Ralph (Chet Carlin), lives with his nagging sister, Rose (Kate Konigisor), who makes his favorite Italian meals and expects him to be home on time. But charming Ralph, who still has a spark for life, is attracted to fashionable Carol (Rochelle Sloven). Although Ralph does not have a dog, he tries to make an impression on her by dressing in his “Brooks Brothers” shirt and putting on the charm.
The unlikely couple meets at a dog park where Carol regularly takes her beloved “Peaches” for an outing. Ralph, who once auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera, reveals his romantic soul in the form of Italian arias that are richly sung in the background by Stephen Mir. Mir also sets the tone by effectively introducing each scene. The couple fall in love and make plans together. However, when hidden factors surface and moral consciousness intervenes, the relationships between all the characters takes a new turn.
Maggie Jennings directed the small ensemble. Ralph Carlin is a clever, down to earth romantic. The two women in his life, played by Rochelle Sloven, and Kate Konigisor, are a bit too overpowering, and the uncertain ending fades in the air like a puff of powder. Nevertheless, this is a sweet and touching play. Oh yes, cute little “Peaches” (Roxy) trots on and off the stage like a real trooper!
Plays through May 10