‘The Last Romance’ Takes Lingering Look at Missed Connections

9faebb12915ad63c3e36_4a1ea339306f143e0185_stock_image_-_arts_-_v2.jpg
9faebb12915ad63c3e36_4a1ea339306f143e0185_stock_image_-_arts_-_v2.jpg

MORRISTOWN, NJ – “The Last Romance,” Joe DiPietro’s tribute to late life relationships, has received a warm and, at times, engaging production at The Bickford Theatre.

DiPietro’s credits include “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” and “Over the River and Through the Woods.” He won a Tony for ‘”Memphis” and a drama desk award for best book of “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” He definitely knows how to put a show together and to connect with an audience.

Sadly, “The Last Romance” is more static than stimulating. Most of the action takes place on a park bench, as Ralph and Carol become acquainted. This is a dog park and she is there with her cute little mutt.

Although Ralph doesn’t have a dog, he just enjoys coming here. They gradually strike up a friendship. Ralph’s sister Rose, however, runs interference.

The cast does a good job of keeping the story line moving along. J.C. Hoyt plays Ralph, still recalling his long ago audition at the Metropolitan Opera House. His youthful memory is reflected by Cory Singer, who plays Ralph as a young man, interspersing the scenes with brief arias. (That’s really the best part of the play.)

Ralph’s sister Rose has been separated from her husband of 22 years, who is now living with his girlfriend in Brooklyn. She’s caustic and opinionated. She’s also suspicious of Carol who she thinks has her eye on Ralph.

Indeed she does. When he finds her dog, who has run off, she promises to give him anything he wants. And what he wants is a ticket to the opera. She surprises him by planning a trip to Milan and an evening at La Scala. But at the last moment they have a disagreement. It seems Carol has not been totally honest about her invalid husband.

One problem with this play is the emphasis on stereotypes. There are plenty of jokes about ‘old people,’ (“He’s quite a catch. He can still drive at night.”)  In addition, the limited set means there isn’t much for the actors to do other than to sit on the bench or enter and exit at the sides of the stage. A projection of a park, brownstones and other scenes help a little, but not enough.

I’m not sure what would have helped this play, if anything. Director Eric Hafen has done his best to breathe life into it. Hoyt, Thea Ruth White as Carol, Noreen Farley as Rose and Cory Singer as the young man are all convincing in their roles. White has the charm and zest for life that makes her intriguing to Ralph. Farley, who often performs with Dreamcatcher Repertory Company in Summit, has the surefire delivery to inject humor into her role. Still, there isn’t much to rescue this tale from a dull, earthbound scenario.  Obviously, Ralph should have flown off to Milan with Carol and at least had a fling in Italy. What is he waiting for?

“The Last Romance” continues at The Bickford, locate d in the Morris Museum in Morristown, through Oct. 13. For tickets, call (973) 971-3706 or visit morrismuseum.org.  Perhaps upcoming productions will be juicier. They include ‘Knight’s Gambit,’ about Sherlock Holmes, “Say Goodnight Gracie,” (George Burns and Grace Allen) and “Forever Plaid.”

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Plainfield Symphony Presents “Shostakovich: A Light from the Darkness”

February 19, 2018

 

On March 10, 2018 at 7 pm, the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Charles Prince, will feature the opportunity to experience more of the music of the great 20th century composer, Dmitri Shostakovich. Concertmistress Evelyn Estava will step into the role of soloist in the tour-de-force Violin Concerto No. 1 followed by the rarely performed Symphony No ...

Annual Dinner and Tricky Tray Returns to Support Rescue Dogs

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Guests can win more than 100 prize baskets, enjoy a full-scale Italian-themed dinner, take part in a super 50/50 raffle, and make a tangible difference to thousands of rescue dogs on March 3 as Home for Good Dog Rescue’s annual “Taste of Italy” Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner and Tricky Tray returns for the ninth consecutive year to the Long Hill ...

Center for Hope Hospice Starts 2018 with $10,000 Donation from RSI Bank

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – RSI Bank, headquartered in Rahway, has been a long-time supporter of the Center for Hope Hospice, which offers hospice and palliative care in its two residences, in patients’ homes and other healthcare settings.

A generous donation from the bank has helped the Center start the year with $10,000 more in its Charitable Care Program, which enables those ...

Third Annual Rockin' For Autism Music Festival

All-day festival benefiting Autism New Jersey will feature local bands, food trucks, vendors, a merchant raffle, bake sale, obstacle course and lots of family fun! Join us for a day of great music, food, fun -- and help us raise funds and awareness for a great cause.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday. April 14, in LaGrande Park. 200 LaGrande Ave., ...

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

February 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.

No One Is More Qualified and Capable to be Our Next Democratic Committee Chair Than Colleen Mahr

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a pillar of consistency in Union County for the last 20 years, having devoted her life to public service. There is no one more qualified and capable to lead us as our next Union County Democratic Committee Chair.

Colleen has mentored, coached and supported countless candidates running for office in Union County, all across our 21 ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mon, February 19, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...