A Snarky Valentine from RTR

Readers Theatre Repertory co-artistic director Mary McDonald-Lewis is unsentimental about Valentines Day, 2009. “And that’s exactly why I’m so happy to be directing this month,” she said.

The company is staging “The Maker of Dreams” by Oliphant Down and “Abstinence” by Lanford Wilson in an evening themed “Take this Valentine and Shove It.” The first story, written at the turn of the 20th Century is set in the humble cottage of Pierrot and Pierrette, where the Commedia dell’Arte couple wrestles with their search for love. “Abstinence” takes place in the foyer of a chic Manhattan flat, “where no one is abstaining from much of anything,” said McDonald-Lewis.

McDonald-Lewis served as “your cynical host” for the production, she said, sharing her own thoughts on love, loss, “and the follies and foolishness of the human heart” throughout the evening. The show wouldn’t be sweet like a Valentine treat, the director said. “But more like the very best chocolate — dark, and bitter.”

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