For two New York City residents, the only way back to love after a disastrous marriage is through the New York Magazine personals section, or so says Jake Feinberg's Strictly Personal, making its Off-Broadway debut Nov. 8. The open-ended run began previews Oct. 17 at the SoHo Playhouse.
A modern romantic comedy, Strictly Personal follows the dating woes of two New Yorkers, middle-aged Jewish lawyer Dan and his next door neighbor Lori, who, at the merciless hands of their friends, reenter the singles scene after their divorces. With help from the New York Magazine personal ads, they kiss a lot of frogs before they find their true loves. A former stand up comedian, Feinberg received an Honorable Mention at the 1998 McLaren Memorial Play competition and subsequent Equity showcase for Strictly Personal.
Actress and choreographer Donna Drake directs. As a performer, she was nominated for an Emmy and received a Theatre World Award. Her credits include the original production of A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, Woman of the Year, The 1940's Radio Hour and Wind in the Willows. The artistic director of the Illyria Theatre Company, Drake recently directed Splendora at the Chelsea Playhouse.
Strictly Personal stars Hayden Adams, Steven Arvanites (Dan), Anne Bobby, Daniel Cantor, Kimberly Farrell (Lori), Lucy Martin, Anne Newhall and Angela Roberts.
The design team is George Xenos (sets), Michael Gilliam (lighting) and Carolyn Birks (costumes). Brian Klevan Schneider is the stage manager. Tickets are $45. The SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street at Sixth Avenue. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Christine Ehren