Saturday, November 12, 2016



Amidst the joyful barks of pet dogs at a park, anything is likely to happen, but a budding romance is usually not one of them.  But if playwright Joe DiPietro is the chief dog catcher then it is anybody's guess what will happen.   It's time to mosey on over to the New Haven Theater Company weekends until November 19 for a bittersweet and sentimental love story that is sure to touch your heart strings, "The Last Romance."

Most men use candy and flowers to woo a woman, like boxes of milk chocolate caramels or bouquets of pink roses.  For eighty year old Ralph Bellini, no ordinary suitor in the hands of John Watson, he knows this may be his final shot at being hit by Cupid's arrow and he isn't taking any chances.  One day he takes his daily walk in a different direction and comes to a dog park where he spies a lovely lady with her little chihuahua Peaches and he seizes the opportunity to pursue her.

Ralph's secret weapons are his operatic arias which he sang in his youth, when he auditioned  at the Metropolitan Opera House. The object of his affection is an unsuspecting Carol Reynolds, played by a sincere and stable Margaret Mann, who has no time or desire for frivolities or sweet talking strangers. Ralph uses his whole arsenal of wisdom and wit to pursue and persuade her to like him, even dangling his love of the opera as an incentive.

Not only does Carol resist his advances, but Ralph's guardian of a sister Rose is a major stumbling block.  Rose, an outspoken, feisty, opinionated, truth-at-any-cost Janie Tamarkin, is wonderful as the protection sibling who won't let anything happen to Ralph, especially not a repeat of the ominous incident of October 25.  How can her roast beef compare to a woman and her rat-like pooch?  Rose, herself, has been separated from hubby Tony for more than two decades and is secure in the knowledge that she is always right and Tony and most men are always  wrong.

Will Carol  finally fall prey to his affectionate ways?  Can these two lonely people find love a second time around?  Will Peaches play Cupid?  Their romance has a few major obstacles to overcome, not the least of which is a vociferous Rose who doesn't want Ralph to abandon her for another woman.  Trevor Williams directs this pretty pastiche of passion, with additional voice and video provided by Christian Shaboo and Peter Chenot.

For tickets ($20), go online to  Performances are at the Vintage Market, 839 Chapel Street, New Haven now known as EBM Vintage in the back of the store, on Thursday at 8 p.m, Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at  8 p.m. 

Will Ralph and Carol discover love in later life can be just as sweet as the first time around? Come discover for yourself.

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