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Theater Review: “Loves And Hours”

Jake Rosko (Dan Jr.), DeNae Steele (Sara) in "Love And Hours."
Photo credit:
Ken Jacques

Love (desired, experienced and abandoned) is explored in many age and gender configurations in Stephen Metcalfe’s “Loves And Hours,” playing through July 2 at Scripps Ranch Theatre.

The 50ish Dan Tilney (Francis Gercke) serves as a sort of commentator/Greek chorus/narrator for this amatory roller-coaster. (Gercke is also the show’s director.)

Dan is divorced from Linda (Dana Hooley), who left him a year ago for the unseen Janet.

We meet Dan at the May-December wedding of Dan’s 50-year-old friend Harold (Paul Maley) and his much-younger bride Andrea (Sofia Sassone).

Also at the wedding are late-30s friends Sara (DeNae Steele) and husband Tom (William Parker Shore), deeply mired in the doldrums of marital boredom.

Dan initially claims no interest in romance, but other characters – notably Harold’s sister Julia (Tori King Rice) – won’t let that stand.

First she fixes him up with contemporary Anne (Dana Hooley), a remarkably clumsy encounter not clarified by the fact that Hooley also plays Dan’s ex-wife.

But love has its own timetable, and Dan’s moment comes at an IRS audit, where he connects with young agent Charlotte (Taylor Henderson).

She sings with a band “when she’s not putting people away,” and has no trouble figuring out how to play Dan.

There’s excitement with Charlotte, and Dan falls hard. But how can he ignore longtime friend (if sometimes pest) Julia, who’s just so ... easy to be around?

Meanwhile, hunky Jake Rosko as Dan Jr. may or may not be going off to college, but finds himself attracted to the married Sara, and his sister Rebecca falls for a man old enough to be her father.

There’s a lot going on here, all reflecting the excitement and/or the fleeting nature of love, and all played in short, often clever but always familiar vignettes.

Bob Shuttlesworth’s set is full of local references (Metcalfe is a La Jolla resident). Robyn Boyd’s costumes, Steve Murdock’s sound design and especially Mitchell Simkovsky’s lighting design help set the quick changes in mood and place.

Gercke makes a good narrator/guide through Metcalfe’s prickly love jungle, and though some of the characters might be described as types, the cleverness of the script (and fine acting) keeps them from seeming so.

Most of these relationships won’t pan our any better than some of my attempts – or, I’d guess, yours – but “Love And Hours” offers an engaging tour of the very human search for love.

The details

“Loves And Hours” plays through July 2, 2017 at Legler Benbough Theatre, 9783 Avenue of Nations, off Pomerado Road in Scripps Ranch (on the campus of Alliant International University)

Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm

Tickets: (858) 578-7728 or www.scrippsranchtheatre.org