Secondo – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Finding your soul mate is incredibly important but also incredibly difficult. A woman may have to kiss a plethora of frogs before her Prince Charming materializes. On the next romantic plateau, marriage can be an adventure equivalent to scaling Mt. Everest, with or without the benefit of Sherpa guides. Come meet Giulia Melucci who is at the cusp of her ten year anniversary to Gavin discovers, as she struggles to prepare the perfect anniversary leg of lamb dinner in “Secondo,” a world premiere by Jacques Lamarre. Watch her adapt her recipes and culinary charms at Theater Works Hartford until Sunday, August 28 for a tasty and delicious comedy treat.

If you remember Giulia, a writer, in her star turn in “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” also by Jacques Lamarre, a decade ago and also starring Antoinette LaVecchia as Giulia, you will be delighted to make her acquaintance again, in the kitchen. She has found the love of her life, Gavin, culled from a dozen imposters, but she has two major problems.

On the one hand this dinner needs to be spectacular because Gavin is angry with her for cancelling her trip to Cannes, France with him for the twelve day Cannes Film Festival, only three days before departure. Granted Gavin is so preoccupied with his duties as a gifted film critic that she is left alone in their hotel, but is that the real excuse? Or could it be that Giulia cancelled the trip because Mitch, an exceedingly romantic ex-boyfriend, has suddenly impulsively and dramatically reentered her life and wants her back? As Giulia deftly slices and dices her way using her treasure trove of culinary skills, we agonize with her over her choices and decisions. What is a good Catholic girl to do? Rob Ruggiero directs this delicious dilemma of a comedy on a fully appointed kitchen set, any chef’s dream, by Brian Prather.

For tickets ($25-65), call Theater Works Hartford, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at Performances are Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (masks required). Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (masks required) and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Check Covid requirements online.

Come see “Secondo,” the second part of a connected piece, whether you’ve seen the first part or not. Cheer Giulia on as she masterfully organizes and agonizes over her options, knowing in your heart that true love will triumph in the end. Aprons and anniversary gifts are your choice, while a homemade lemon cupcake by Giulia wouldn’t go uneatened.

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