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February 2, 2016

Smitten & Sweet: The Top 10 Love Plays To Read This Month


Everyone needs a little romance in their lives. But let’s face it, sometimes our love life isn’t as exciting as we’d like. So get a thrill from the next best thing:  the written word.

This February, make time to choose a script from below, pour yourself a drink, curl up on the couch, and get ready to escape into a (sexy, hilarious, bittersweet) love story. And unlike all those bad dates, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Baby Taj by Tanya Shaffer
The legendary Taj Mahal is the next assignment for Rachel, an American travel writer whose failed romances have led to her ask: Why not have the baby she craves – on her own? She finds unexpected answers – and larger questions – among the glittering legacies of India’s past. This bittersweet comedy of mischievous matchmaking raises provocative questions about love, friendship, family, and what it means to be ready to be a parent. 5m, 6f.

Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck
“And then I realize, in this sort of strange, hallucinatory moment, that the bug guy is looking kind of good, and the things he’s saying about bugs are really kind of fascinating and it is then that I realized that maybe it has been too long since I’ve been on a date.” So confesses a single mother and self-described restaurant idiot-savant in this thoroughly charming and slyly sweet one-woman play. This idiosyncratic journey of self-discovery involving the Romanian mob a Buddhist rainstorm, a teenage daughter, shoes, and a few very bad dates. 1f.

Better Late by Larry Gelbart
Julian is forced to move in with his ex-wife and her new husband in order to recuperate from a sudden illness. With each passing day, the awkward situation spirals out of control. As the laughter builds, the question becomes: how long will Julian have to stay? 3m, 1f.

Could I Have This Dance? By Doug Haverty
Two sisters: Monica and Amanda run a thriving public relations firm in Los Angeles, which was started by their mother, Jeannette. Jeannette lives with her daughters, as she has Huntington’s. Both Monica and Amanda have shunned long-term romantic relationships because of their unknown fate; bitter Monica plays it safe and vibrant Amanda takes every chance with young, one-night stands. As the play unfolds, both women have met men they’d like to get serious with and the knowledge of the test both repels and attracts them: Amanda, desperate for the answer and Monica, in morbid fear of it. 3m, 3f.

Go Back to Where you Are by David Greenspan
God offers Passalus, a failed actor festering inHell, the opportunity of redemption by returning to Earth to free a young woman from her domineering mother, Claire, a distinguished stage actress. Passalus assumes the role of a British matron and former actress, arriving at Claire’s summer home during a week-end in which she is hosting friends and family. Passalus can hear the inner thoughts of the characters he encounters. He finds himself falling in love with Claire’s brother, Bernard, the under appreciated author of eccentric comedies. The play dramatizes second chances in love – and love that facilitates the soul’s release from Hell into life again. 5m, 2f.

I Sent a Letter to my Love by Jeffery Sweet, Bernice Rubens, Melissa Manchester
Gwen appears to rent a cottage from Amy and her wheelchair bound brother, Stan. She is venturing into a new life following the death of her mother whom she nursed. On a whim, Amy places a “Wanted to Correspond” ad, but her notions of romance backfire when only Stan responds. 3m, 3f.

Lascivious Something by Sheila Callaghan
On a secluded Greek island, an American ex-pat pursues his passions: winemaking and his breathtaking young wife. Then, on the eve of Reagan’s inauguration, the first tasting of the new wine is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of August’s former love. 1m, 3f.

Late, A Cowboy Song by Sarah Ruhl
This play is for all lady cowboys of heart and mind who ride outside the city limits of convention. Mary, always late and always married, meets a lady cowboy outside the city limits of Pittsburgh who teaches her how to ride a horse. Mary’s husband, Crick, buys a painting with the last of their savings. Mary and Crick have a baby, but they can’t decide on the baby’s name, or the baby’s gender. A story of one woman’s education and her search to find true love outside the box. 1m, 2f.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy
Young and impulsive, Natasha Rostova arrives in Moscow to await the return of her fiancé from the front lines. When she falls under the spell of the roguish Anatole, it is up to Pierre, a family friend in the middle of an existential crisis, to pick up the pieces of her shattered reputation. This award winning musical expands the possibilities for this genre with its daring score and bold storytelling. 5m, 5f.

Roses in December by Victor Cahn
In this play of letters, a young official in a college alumni office invites a celebrated but reclusive author to the thirty-fifth reunion of his class. When he declines, she charmingly prods him, and thereby begins a witty and revelatory correspondence that becomes part mystery, part memory, and part romance. 1m, 1f.

And, an honorary mention:

The Hatmaker’s Wife by Lauren Yee
A young woman moves in with her boyfriend expecting domestic bliss, but instead has trouble getting comfortable. Her strange new home seems determined to help out – and soon the walls are talking. They reveal the magical tale of an old hat-maker and his long-suffering wife, who runs away with his favorite hat. This sweet and surreal story bends times and space to redefine the idea of family, home, and true love itself. 3m, 3f.