Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bring Me My Lid

Jumping into the dating pool requires a leap of faith.

Turning that act of bravery into a musical is how "Hearts on Line" ended up being created (from the original title, "Leap of Faith").

Tonight Firehouse Theater did a staged reading of the new play by local playwright Rebecca Jones with music by composer Paul Bartsch, who also played piano.

I don't want to say that online dating is a hot topic, but when I arrived 30 minutes before show time, the ticket line was out the door.

People got turned away.

It seems that others are finally realizing what I've been saying for a while now. The Firehouse's $5 staged readings are the best theater deal in town.

I got lucky. I hadn't bought a ticket in advance because I'd never needed to for one of these productions.

And as the line inched up, it became clear that I might not get in.

But the theater gods smiled on me and I was allowed in as one of the last seven people to gain admittance before the house was full (they were counting seats at that point).

An usher was seating the last few of us and as she led me to my seat, she warned that I wouldn't be able to sit with my party.

What party? I was a party of one at a play about finding love.

Somehow I was seated in a second row seat, one off the aisle. It's exactly one seat from where I choose to sit at Firehouse functions.

I don't know how in the world I got so lucky.

Some of the people who were let in with me were seated in folding chairs off to the side with an obstructed view, presumably so they could sit together.

Sometimes it pays to be Miss Lonelyhearts.

The play told the story of a nice Episcopalian girl, Rachael, who goes on J-Date to find love.

Apparently a Jewish drama teacher in 8th grade had sealed her appreciation for Jewish men.

Interwoven with her attempts at finding Mr. Right were subplots of other people doing the same while her gay best friend shored her up.

You know, basically the story of every other single woman's life.

The subplots were funny because they took the audience through unsuccessful first dates where couples discovered they had little in common and no spark.

Eventually, though, and with enough optimism to keep trying different people, each idiosyncratic one of them found their match with someone else's reject.

As one of my former bosses liked to say, "There's a lid for every pot." And, yes, he was Jewish.

Strong characters and astute portrayals gave everyone in the crowd a reason to care about the dating action.

The audience got caught up in the plot, some fascinated with Rachael's dating adventures and others just as taken with the sagas of the other couples.

The play got a bit muddy with a tangent about her converting to Judaism, but ended with the promise of a dinner date (a doctor!) with an interested/interesting-sounding man.

The play was long, too long, but the songs were clever, witty and some even beautiful.

But it was Rachael's continued willingness to take yet another leap of faith that kept the audience in their seats for nearly three hours.

I'm not putting my heart online, but I'd happily take possession of my lid.


  1. I'm so glad you made it, Karen! It was so delightful to meet you last night! Thank you so much for this blog!


  2. I was glad I made it in, too! Next staged reading, I'm reserving a ticket. Lesson learned.

    And don't thank me. You're the one who directed my evening's entertainment. Kudos to you and your cast for a fine night of theater.

    To finding love!