Theater Review of Romance.Com - Do Lies Bring Happiness

 

Romance.com At the Pico Playhouse

The internationally acclaimed comedy, Romance.Com by Hindi Brooks is now being presented by  West Coast  Jewish Theatre

Directed by Howard Teichman, the cast includes Bart Braverman, Joseph Michael Harris, Olivia Henry, Marcia Rodd, and Michael J. Silver.  

Romance.com - Marcia Rodd and Olivia Henry -- photo by Michael Lamont.

Trying to take care of her widowed grandmother Nora (Marcia Rodd) who continues to mourn her lost husband after four years , Terry (Olivia Henry) buys Nora a new toy.  Nora, not computer savvy, nevertheless, manages to find herself on a dating site. 

Romance.com - Olivia Henry and Joseph Michael Harris - photo by Michael Lamont.

Terry, who's dating Ira (Joseph Michael Harris) - a handsome, vain health-nut, can't decide if she can commit to him or not.  Professing his everlasting love for the mild accountant tries to sweep her off her feet, but refuses to agree thaqt Nora can live with them.  

Romance.com - Michael J Silver and Olivia Henry photo by Michael Lamont.

The feelings between Nora and Ira are of mutual dislike. How could Terry even think of marrying this man, especially when she promised that she would always take care of her grandmother.  

Romance.com - Olivia Henry and Joseph Michael Harris - photo by Michael Lamont.

Meanwhile Benny (Bart Braverman) spends his day at his friend Don's (Michael J Silver) deli playing with his computer and trying to entice a younger woman to date with his various lies. 

When Nora answers Ira's misleading ad on the dating site, she lies, as he does.  They both pretend to be their younger companions.

Romance.com - Bart Braverman and Michael J Silver photo by Michael Lamont.

Of course, when it comes time for Terry (pretending to be Nora) meets Don (pretending to be Ira) sparks fly.   But what happens when it comes time to tell the truth and does Terry have the gumption to break it off with Ira?

 

Romance.com - Bart Braverman and Marcia Rodd = photo by Michael Lamont.

The play was an enchanting romp, though the story was very old and rather predictable.  But the original version had been produced in 1988 when on-line dating was just coming into vogue.

 The acting, however, was fabulous and funny. 

 

Romance.com - the cast- photo by Michael Lamont.

Set design was by Kurtis Bedford, while Ellen Monocroussos did lightning and Jackie Gudget did costume.   Bill Froggatt accomplished the sound while Adrienne-Johnson  Lister was the stage manager.

A prolific writer, Hindi Brooks wrote for the theater and screen.  As a scriptwriter she composed over 100 television episodes and several TV movies.

Its second play of the season, the group is a 501c3.  Its third play of the season will be Fugu starting in February 27, 2016.   The season is dedicated to the memory of theatrical consultant David Paul Coleman.

Romance.com runs from October 10, 2015, through November 15, 2015, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (8pm) and Sundays 3 p.m. at the Pico Playhouse.  Seats run$25- $35 and can be had by calling 323-821-2449.

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