In biblical days, the world before J-Date, speed dating and meetups. it was all so simple and actually successful! The romantic meeting place of choice was the well, springing up romance between Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob and Rachel; Moses and Zipporah. As ritual and routine, young couples met, courted and married. Yes, dysfunction ensued, as per course, but overall a match was made in heaven, pre-ordained, as it were. Not exactly the case in “Stella’s Last J-Date,” making its world premiere at the Whitefire Theatre. Written by Andy Rooster Bloch, directed by Bryan Rasmussen and produced by Scott Disharoon, this play features Stella (Amy Smallman-Winston) and Isaac (Barry Livingston), dysfunctional to the nth degree, yet each desperately in search of the perfect soulmate.
Entering the scene is Don (Elvis Nolasco), a cyber bully at best, who seems bent on destroying Stella’s one last chance at love, companionship and bliss. A seemingly potential blossoming courtship quickly goes awry as the plot unravels, and each character bears his/her inner demons. This play is a powerful look at how our technologically driven society has affected the world of interpersonal relationships, a time sensitive story of love, longing, and the desire to break the binding chains of loneliness. Each of us has a yearning for human connection, amidst the wired world of online dating sites and chat rooms. Yet virtual cyber realities can also turn into disappointing, even dangerous, volatile encounters. Smallman-Winston lends charm and charisma to her role as Stella, and as a result, she charms the audience, as they root her on in her pursuit for connection. The couple seem to fall in love with the ideal of love, but never in their wildest dreams, imagine all the repercussions that their meeting entails. The fact that this scenario resonates with so many lonely hearts in urban sprawls such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, makes it all the more compelling. The catchy title, combined with brash dialogue, and a O Henry plot twist, leaves the audience with genuine surprise and awe.
Whitefire Theatre 13500 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks
http://www.brownpapertickets.com or 818-990-2324