.Long Beach Press-Telegram
 
'Old Love' proves that affection is for all ages
By John Farrell Posted: 06/21/2011 05:33:19 PM PDT
 

A lot of people who are of a certain age, that age where society thinks it is time to give up on sex and love and settle down into a steadily declining old age, are going to like - no, we'll say it, are going to love - "Old Love," the play that opened last week at Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro.

"Old Love" continues through July 23.

The audience, which was filled with people of that certain age at Friday's opening, certainly loved it. They clapped so long and hard that the two actors in the piece, Don Warburton and Yvonne Robertson, after leaving the stage, were happily forced to come back after a lengthy pause, to accept the audience's accolades a second time.

That's to be expected, of course, because there are a lot of people out there who have reached that time of life and are not willing to give up on life just yet.

   
Yvonne Robertson and Don Warburton star in "Old Love." (Photo courtesy of Mickey Elliot)
 

But for those who haven't quite gotten there, for everyone, indeed, who wants to see an upbeat romantic comedy with two excellent actors playing a half-dozen or so roles - doing it all without costume changes and up close on a stage that doesn't allow for a lot of errors - "Old Love" is a perfectly lovable and enticing evening at the theater.

Director Kari Hayter makes her Little Fish debut directing "Old Love," a play from Norm Foster, the Canadian playwright who has produced more hits, north of the border and south, than any other Canadian.

Hayter lets her actors, both veterans, do the jobs Advertisement they are best at, and the setting, a couple of entrances, a table and two chairs, and a platform at the back of the stage, are all they need to make the story come to life.

Yes, it is set in Canada, but the difference between Vancouver and San Francisco, between Toronto and Chicago, doesn't bother anyone here.

Warburton is Bud (and also a variety of minor characters - the play is a two-person show) and at its beginning he is telling the story of his romantic life, which ended in divorce and a child he raised even though he didn't father the son.

Bud has had a romantic interest in Molly, played by Robertson, for 25 years. She was the boss' wife, though, and he never tried to do anything about it until they meet again, apparently for just the third time in 25 years, at that boss' funeral.

Molly isn't interested, but Bud pursues her, and together they both tell the stories of their romantic lives - Bud playing his late boss and a couple of other men, Molly showing up as a series of awful dates (each one limned with comedic accuracy by a turn of the head or a vocal inflection).

Despite the lack of costume changes, there is never any confusion: You know who is whom throughout the evening, with Bud and Molly taking turns telling their stories, their heartaches, through 25 years of relationships that failed.

Molly's daughter-in-law is the one who laughs at "old love" - the very idea of people of her mother-in-law's age having sex is, to her, ridiculous. She wants to house her in a granny apartment for her declining years.

"Old Love" is a lesson in persistence, in one man's pursuit of happiness, and it is as funny as it is touching, full of great, if brief, characterizations and with a surprise ending that may not surprise you after all.

It's great fun and a great message, even if you aren't nearly old enough to be there yourself.

John Farrell is a Long Beach freelance writer. More of his articles can be read at http://byjohnfarrell.typepad.com.

Old Love When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through July 23, with additional performances at 7 p.m. July 10 and 8 p.m. July 21.

Where: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Tickets: $22, $20 for seniors and students. Information: 310-512-6030 or www.littlefishtheatre.org.

Our rating: 4 stars