Love Quest – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Once upon a time, marriages were arranged, usually by two sets of parents, often without the prospective parties meeting before they arrived at the altar. Thankfully, times have changed. There are still blind dates, set up by helpful friends, but the commitment is brief and not for a lifetime. Now there are one minute encounters called speed dating, where a bell is rung after sixty seconds of short conversation. Online dating sites are also popular and account for many long lasting relationships.

Ivoryton Playhouse is happy to introduce you to the world premiere of a comedy dealing with the more modern institutions of connecting socially in the relationship challenged “Love Quest” by Mary Maquire and Steven McGraw, until Sunday, May 13. Based on Mary McGraw’s actual experiences, the play explores the realities of entering a foreign world without preparation and the surprises and dangers that lurk at the end of the wine bottle and the exaggerations and lies that abound.

Linda Purl’s Kate has not dated in thirty years,. The necessity of venturing into this unknown universe is occasioned by her husband running off with a younger woman, a much younger woman. At sixty, she is encouraged by her daughter Megan (Susan Slotoroff) who is the mentor and guiding force for her mom.

Needing to advance in the fashion world forces Jes Bedwinek’s Brook to search out “eye candy” to please her publicist. Her assistant Bove (Mike Mihm) helps Brook navigate the choices at her disposal online. At thirty-five, she is not finding this world a kind and welcoming place. Will either woman succeed in her quest for companionship, much less love? Are there any normal males out there to be found? Are there enough Krispy Kreme donuts to make the search palatable? The men of the moment are played by Joe Candelora and Josh Powell. The use of video projections enhances the roller coaster action. Jacqueline Hubbard keeps the pace light and frothy, as well as anxiety ridden, depending on the scenario of the moment.

For tickets ($50, seniors $45, students $22, children $17), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860- 767-7318 or online at Performances are 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday and Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Sit back and enjoy the adventures of two brave women as they tentatively dip their toes into the frantic and fun worlds of online dating and witness the humorous and confusing experiences that engenders. There’s always a donut as a consolation prize.