World Premiere of Wayne Playwright Larry McKenna's New Comedy at Hedgerow Hedgerow Theatre is celebrating February as a month of romance with the world premiere of a new romantic comedy, Strictly Platonic, written and directed by Larry McKenna of Wayne. The show runs from February 7 to March 2.
Strictly Platonic follows the evolution of Tim Matthews, a handsome, successful young businessman who, as the play begins, could best be described as a shallow playboy. In fact, the title refers to one of the codes he uses to classify the women he encounters, especially ones who don't meet his very rigid definition of the ideal woman. That all changes after he meets a young lady who is very different from any he's ever dated, and realizes that he may actually be falling in love for the first time in his life.
"I wrote the play because I wanted to explore love and how relationships develop," McKenna explained. "It's fascinating to me how you can visit the same place with two different people, and one of them makes it a great experience but with the other it's all wrong. I also wanted to examine how young people communicate today, and how important it is not to judge people without knowing them. It's fun and romantic, and I hope people will get a lot of laughs from it."
There are many reasons why McKenna's name might sound familiar to local audiences. The
happily married father of four taught for 34 years at Radnor High School, where he wrote the shows performed by the senior class each year. He's an accomplished keyboard player, singer and composer who has entertained crowds for the past 14 summers at Busch's Seafood Restaurant in Sea Isle City, N.J., and other spots at the Jersey shore. He's written two other plays that have received great reviews, Burt & Me, a musical featuring the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and a comedy, The Next Reunion. He worked as an assistant to Broadway producer Bud Martin on three productions, including Nine to Five, and he's the producer of the New Voices Cabaret series at the Society Hill Playhouse.
McKenna's first experience at Hedgerow was as a guest in Tony Braithwaite's "talk show"
Heeere's Tony! last year. "I fell in love with the theatre," he said, "and I'm so excited to be premiering my play here. A real bonus is that, because of its Fellowship program, Hedgerow has a residence where actors can stay during a run, so it allowed me to draw from a larger pool of talent." Two of the cast members, Brendan Cataldo from Albany, New York, and Jamie Goldman from San Antonio, Texas, will be taking advantage of that advantage. Also appearing are Sarah Braverman and Hilary Bucell, who are both from Philadelphia.
Following a preview on Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m., shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, at 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays through March 2. There is also a matinee at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20.
Adult ticket prices for Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows are $32, Thursday shows are $29,
and Wednesday matinees are $25. There is a $3 discount for seniors; tickets for students with valid ID and children under 18 are $10. Previews are $20, and no other discounts apply. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations, call 610-565-4211, or visit www.hedgerowtheatre.org.
Hedgerow Theatre, America's First Repertory Theatre, is at 64 Rose Valley Road, in Rose Valley (near Media).
Photo Credit: Larry McKenna in the Hedgerow lobby.