Love Quest
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Written by Mary Maguire & Steven McGraw
SHOW TIMES: Wednesday, April 25th -
Sunday, May 13th

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

A renowned scientist once theorized that finding “intelligent life” on other planets in the universe would be like shooting a particular blackbird in a room full of blackbirds, with the lights out. Ironically, the same probability applies for finding a “normal man” on an online dating service.

Love Quest – a new comedy – explores the journeys of two women in the perilous world of online dating.

Kate Crawford, 60, was married for 30-years and divorced for 3. Her husband left her for a younger woman and she is dealing with issues of abandonment, old age and the new world order of internet dating. It is a position in which she never thought she would find herself. Her concerned daughter, Megan, posts Kate’s profile on the Love Quest dating site and Kate is thrust into unknown territory. The “gentleman caller” is a thing of the past. Now a relationship is decided in a millisecond with the “swipe” of a finger across your smart phone. And speed dating gives Kate sixty seconds to present herself, thirty seconds too long for many of the younger men who sit across from here.

Brook Davis, 35, single, has climbed the corporate ladder in the fashion industry with a driven, single minded focus. Her ambition left her little time for socializing which is just fine with her. Raised in foster homes she has learned to only trust herself. A relationship would only get in her way. However, executives in her firm want her to raise her celebrity profile by being seen and photographed at the right places with eye candy dates. Her assistant, Bové, reluctantly signs her up on Love Quest. Brook is far more cynical than Kate and is more amused than shocked by what she encounters in the world of high speed dating.

Kate and Brook meet after a bad date goes awry and become friends and allies in this strange new dating world. This is their story.

Jes Bedwinek (Brook) is a NYC based actor/comedian last seen on Broadway… and Houston, trying to find the entrance to the D train. She is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut! NYC: Accomplice! The Show, A Footnote in History (The New Ohio Theater),The Nocturnist (The Habitat), Asylum (New Dance Theatre at Access), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Times Square Arts Center). Regional: The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCaullie Fishing Derby (The Lake Theater at Lake George), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Boston’s Commonwealth Shakespeare Co), Twelfth Night (Oberlin Summer Theatre Festival), The Foreigner (MPAC – Chicago), Spring Awakening (Promethean Theatre Ens.- Chicago), Moscow Art Theatre at A.R.T., Improviser at Second City ETC (Chicago).  Film/TV: Parental Pride, The Choice, Homeland, The Deuce.  MFA from The New School for Drama. www.jesbedwinek.com.

 

Joe Candelora* (Hal) is a proud member of A.E.A. and a professional actor for more than forty years.  He has appeared in over 175 stage productions, 40 TV shows and 20 films. This marks his first production here at the Ivoryton Playhouse and he is thrilled to be working with such a talented group of actors and staff.  Favorite roles would include Breaking Legs (Tino) starring Frank Gorshin, Other Desert Cities (Lymon),  A Lion in Winter (Henry) and George in The Skin of our Teeth. On the small screen he has had re-occurring roles on ABC’s short lived series Safe Harbor (Starring  Gregory Harrison), Aaron Spelling’s even shorter lived Second Noah and countless shows on Nickelodeon as well as guest spots on Sheena, The Cape, Thunder in Paradise and HBO’s much honored Film Recount. Big screen appearances include Wild Things2, In the Shadows, Matinee and Ernest Saves Christmas. Enjoy the Show!

 

Mike Mihm*  (Bové) is glad to be returning to Ivoryton, having appeared last season as Sgt. Toomey. Off-Broadway: Blood Potato and In God’s Hat (Apothecary). Other New York work: Marian, Salvage, Menders, and Ajax in Iraq, (Flux Theatre Ensemble), Hot Season (Strange Sun), readings with the Lark, New Dramatists, Classic Stage Company. Regional: Biloxi Blues (Ivoryton), Peribañez (Quantum), The Tall Girls (Luna Stage), Mister Roberts, A Christmas Carol (Cincinnati Playhouse). Film: Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Dying Western, Cold Storage, Old Maid, Let it be War, The New Moon Party. BFA Ohio University

 

Josh Powell* (Everyman) is thrilled to return to the Ivoryton Playhouse where he appeared in last season’s My Way. Josh joins Love Quest straight from a killer run as Booth in Sondheim’s Assassins (Founders Hall). Last season saw him as El Gallo in The Fantasticks (Pittsburgh Public), meditating in the NYMF hit Fourth Messenger, starring in the two-person Syncopation (Penguin Rep), and featuring in the award-winning film Better Dead Than Red. Josh has appeared most frequently in the roles of Billy Bigelow (Carousel), Harold Hill (The Music Man), Peron (Evita), and The Phantom of the Opera himself. Other favorites include Gaston (Beauty and the Beast),  Arthur (Camelot), and Sky (Guys and Dolls). His numerous TV appearances include guest-starring on Blue Bloods and DOA.

 

Linda Purl* (Kate)  Currently: The Oath (recurring). Recent recurring: Homeland, True Blood, The Office, Designated Survivor. She has starred in over 45 made-for-TV movies, and is especially known for Charlene Matlock, Matlock and Ashley Pfister, Fonzie’s fiancée, Happy Days.

Broadway: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Getting and Spending. Off-Broadway: The Baby Dance.  Regional (partial): Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Hedda Gabler, The Real Thing, A Glass Menagerie, The Little Foxes, A Streetcar Named DesireThe Road to Mecca with Julie Harris, A Doll’s House, Dinner with Friends (original production), The Year of Magical Thinking, Hippolytus, Same Time Next Year, Copenhagen, Beyond Therapy, On a Clear Day, Three Penny Opera, The King and I, at such theatres as Long Wharf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, Santa Fe Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Laguna Playhouse, Lensic Santa Fe, Berkeley Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival (six seasons); Theatre Princesse Grace, Monaco; Imperial Theatre, Tokyo. Film (partial): Bender, Mighty Joe Young, Leo and Loree, Sundays.

She was Founding Director of the California International Theatre Festival. Purl currently tours in concert. Past venues include Catalina Jazz, Birdland, Feinstein’s, Naples Philharmonic, Crazy Coqs (London), Club Raye (Paris), Satin Doll (Tokyo). CD’s: Alone TogetherOut of this World, Midnight Caravan, Up Jumped Springwww.lindapurl.com

 

Susan Slotoroff (Megan) is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton debut with Love Quest! Credits include: Steel Magnolias (Shelby), Unnecessary Farce (Billie), and I Hate Hamlet (Deirdre) at Playhouse on Park; Miracle on South Division Street (Ruth) and Moon Over Buffalo (Roz) at Shadowland Stages; Fox on the Fairway (Louise) at White Plains Performing Arts Center and Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie) at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. She was recently nominated for best actress for the NY premiere of How to Pray (Faith) at Bridge Street Theatre. Susan is the co-founder of the Broadway Cares Broadway Run. Run with us!  https://broadwaycares.org/broadway-run-2017 BFA Elon University. www.Susan-Slotoroff.com

 

Director:  Jacqueline Hubbard

Stage Manager:  Laura Lynne Knowles*

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Nischan

Lighting Designer:  Marcus Abbott

Sound Designer:  Tate R. Burmeister

Costume Designer:  Elizabeth Saylor Cipollina

* member of Actors Equity

First published in The Beach Reporter – August 2015
tbrnews.com

Leap of Faith: Manhattan Beach’s Mary Maguire hopes to have first play, ‘Love Quest,’ produced by the end of the year

Mary Maguire was 58 years old when she became single for the first time in 32 years. She got divorced soon after moving to Manhattan Beach from Arizona. She knew few people in the beach cities, so she jumped into the foreign world of online dating more than five years ago.

“I had so many horror stories and some good ones too. Nothing scary where I felt like I was in danger, some awkward, embarrassing on both ends,” recalled Maguire. “Some great guys that got away, some didn’t like me and vice versa. I just went on a ton of dates. I’m embarrassed to say how many.”

Maguire added, “I would come home and call my sister and call my friends. I had this routine where I would stop at a gas station and buy the cheap Hostess white donuts. I would talk to my friends, ‘Oh, this date was so terrible.’ I’d be covered in all this white power. My friends said, ‘You should start putting this stuff down.’”

Pictured back row at the first staged reading of the original play, ‘Love Quest,’ is director Billy Gallo and playwrights Mary Maguire and Steven McGraw. Front row, left to right, are Ian Lindsay, Tom MacDonald, Danny C.Alfaro, Lara Fisher, Meg Bennett, Stephen Howard, Lindsey Buttles and Ian Marlow.

Maguire took her friends’ advice and wrote her first play, “Love Quest,” a semi-autobiographical account of her recent dating experiences. She took her play, which she co-wrote with her cousin Steven McGraw, to Billy Gallo, owner of Manhattan Actor Studio and a Manhattan Beach resident. “Love Quest” had its first reading in July.

“What attracted me was her passion for the project,” Gallo said. “It’s about making dreams come true. It’s awesome … seeing her words come to life here at the studio, to see a full house laughing, and my actors working.”

Gallo cast six of his actors, and auditioned a couple more for the July table reading.

“We thought we had something there and the actors brought it to life,” said Maguire of the first reading. “We cut some scenes. We heard a few things that were dragging. One of the actors was so good in his scene we thought we didn’t see enough of him, so we extended the scenes. It played well; it was packed. It gave us the encouragement that we were on the right track.”

Playwright Mary Maguire and director Billy Gallo outside the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood for the first staged reading of ‘Love Quest.’

They took a larger step last week when they took the play to the 99-seat Macha Theatre in West Hollywood for its first staged reading, directed by Gallo. The cast included Meg Bennett, Stephen Howard, Lara Fisher, Lindsey Buttles (Manhattan Beach, CA), Ian Marlow (Redondo Beach), Ian Lindsay, Tom MacDonald and Danny C. Alfaro. The goal is to have a full production ready to go in November.

“I don’t know where this is going to take me, but I would like to give it my attention over the next year,” said Maguire, who is retired but is involved in volunteer work. “I would like to see this take off and play at a variety of small theaters. It’s a very inexpensive play to produce. Basically you need a flash drive, a table, two chairs and six actors. It’s viable for small theater companies to do.”

Maguire knows she is taking a leap of faith, especially since “Love Quest” is her first play, but she said “believe me there’s enough material for sequels.”

“I would be disappointed if nothing ever came of it, but I would also feel fulfilled that I was able to do it and follow a dream,” she said.

For more information, visit lovequest.club

 

STEVEN McGRAW – author

Steve’s teleplay “Miles from Nowhere”, an autobiographical family drama, was produced by New World International, and starred Rick Schroder and James Farentino. It first aired on CBS, and won a Christopher Award for writing. The story was also published by William Morrow as a novel titled “Totaled.” His screenplay, “Pendragon” won in the action/adventure category at The Breckenridge Film Festival, Table Read My Screenplay in Park City, and most recently the White Nights Russian Film Festival.

Steve has presented some of Off Broadway’s longest running hits at his cabaret theatre in Manhattan. Among them are “Forbidden Broadway”, “Forever Plaid,” and Frank and Malachy McCourt’s “A Couple of Blaguards”.

Steve is a graduate of Notre Dame.

 

Join us for an opening night reception following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, April 27th. Light refreshments will be served.

 

Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!

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Press Release

April 4, 2018

It’s a match!

LOVE QUEST – a world premiere
By Mary Maguire & Steven McGraw

Ivoryton – A renowned scientist once theorized that finding “intelligent life” on other planets in the universe would be like shooting a particular blackbird in a room full of blackbirds, with the lights out. Ironically, the same probability applies for finding a “normal man (or woman)” on an online dating service.

Love Quest – a new comedy opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 25 – explores the journeys of two women in the perilous world of online dating.

Kate Crawford, 60, was married for 30-years and divorced for 3. Her husband left her for a younger woman and she is dealing with issues of abandonment, old age and the new world order of internet dating. It is a position in which she never thought she would find herself. Her concerned daughter, Megan, posts Kate’s profile on the Love Quest dating site and Kate is thrust into unknown territory. The “gentleman caller” is a thing of the past. Now a relationship is decided in a millisecond with the “swipe” of a finger across your smart phone. And speed dating gives Kate sixty seconds to present herself, thirty seconds too long for many of the younger men who sit across from here.

Brook Davis, 35, single, has climbed the corporate ladder in the fashion industry with a driven, single minded focus. Her ambition left her little time for socializing which is just fine with her. Raised in foster homes she has learned to only trust herself. A relationship would only get in her way. However, executives in her firm want her to raise her celebrity profile by being seen and photographed at the right places with eye candy dates. Her assistant, Bové, reluctantly signs her up on Love Quest. Brook is far more cynical than Kate and is more amused than shocked by what she encounters in the world of high speed dating.

Kate and Brook meet after a bad date goes awry and become friends and allies in this strange new dating world. This is their story.

Jacqui Hubbard – Playhouse Artistic Director – is taking the helm of this new production. “It has been part of the mission of the Ivoryton Playhouse for the last 5 years to try to include one new play in our season. I saw a reading of Love Quest in the city last year and was immediately impressed by the humor and the heart and most especially, audience response. This is a funny, poignant and very timely story that I know many in my audience will relate to.”

Love Quest stars Linda Purl* as Katherine Crawford. Many will remember Linda for her roles at Charlene Matlock in Matlock and Ashley Pfister, Fonzie’s girlfriend in Happy Days but her career has included many movie and TV appearances. She can currently be seen in The Oath (recurring), and in recent episodes of Homeland, True Blood, The Office, and Designated Survivor.

Sharing the stage with Linda are Playhouse favorites Josh Powell* (My Way) and Mike Mihm* (Biloxi Blues). Jes Bedwinek, Joe Candelora* and Susan Slotoroff will be making their Playhouse debut.

Love Quest opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 25th and runs through May 13th, 2018. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

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Ivoryton Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard, found Love Quest when she attended a staged reading of the play at Saint Luke's Theatre in New York back in February 2017. At the reading, the lead character Katherine Crawford was played by American singer, dancer, comedian and actress of stage and television Sandy Duncan.