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Only a genius like playwright A.R. Gurney could conceive a play that required two actors to sit at a small table on a bare stage and read letters to each other. But his effort, “Love Letters,” was well received on Broadway and earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination. The play will be presented at the Milton Theatre February 13-14.
The magic is in the writing, and the way letters written over a 50-year period—from Valentines in second grade to sensuous love letters in adulthood—chronicle the lives of Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, played by local favorites Liz Roe and Dick Pack.
You could characterize Gurney’s epistolary account as a glorified stage reading, and essentially, it is. But the plainness in staging shifts the focus to the dialogue.The letters reveal the fearlessness and pomposity of youth and the jadedness and disappointment of middle age. The characters, who meet in their elder years to read the letters and reflect on their lives, wonder if they had made any real difference in the world. Had they appreciated the privileged life to which they had grown accustomed? If they had the chance to do it all again, would they do it differently?
It’s worth finding out.
Contact info: miltontheatre.org, or 684-3400
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