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CHAPATTI presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through March 8. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.
“All that matters, is love.” -Betty
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park opens this Irish gem of a love story.
On entering the theater, the audience is greeted by Scott Bradley’s excellent and detailed set of an Irish pub. As the play begins, the Barman, played by Jay Hobson, is busied with various tasks as two patrons enter the pub. Dan (Jonathan Gillard Daly) and Betty (Sarah Day), who greet the audience as fellow bar patrons, order their respective drinks, and take seats near the fireplace to tell their story.
The play is delivered mostly as narrative, as the leads take turns recounting their lives leading up to their meeting and the events that follow. This gives surprising strength to those moments when the two interact directly, and quite the emotional punch to the final few scenes.
Their story unfolds at a leisurely pace and at first feels a bit mundane. As in life, as the characters (and the audience) gain a more intimate knowledge of each other, and their respective pasts, the story that unfolds is anything but.
Smartly directed by Anne Marie Cammarato, both Daly and Day do excellent work in their roles, individually and together. Their characters are easily likable and relate-able. Dan carries the burden of the recent loss, of the love of his life, while Betty quietly yearns for a true love she has never known. I have to admit, as the play neared its conclusion, I was taken by surprise by how emotionally vested I became in their story.
Overall a simple, yet beautifully-told and emotionally-satisfying love story.
My rating: 4.25 out of 5
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