Group Rep presents ‘One Acts’ examining love and connection through May 5 in NoHo

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Group Repertory Theatre combines two unusual one-acts to thoughtfully examine the search for love and connection in our often isolating world. Each reveals that animals often provide the most unconditional and touching love and affection, helping humans find comfort, connection, and understanding.

In “The Strangest Kind of Romance” is Nicola Tombacco and Sherry Michaels at The Group Rep in NoHo. Photo by Doug Engalla

Paul Zindel’s dark Let Me Hear You Whisper presents the story of solitary cleaning woman Helen (Sandra Valladares), who is hired to tidy up a scientific lab. She feels compassion for one of the subjects (Fox Carney) and works to free the creature, and in so doing, releases herself from repression.

The performance by Valladares was subtle, as underplaying adds power to the character’s transformation, while Marie Broderick’s Miss Moray adds icy hauteur. Director Katelyn Ann Clark focuses on finding connection and speaking your truth.

The Strangest Kind of Romance by Tennessee Williams reveals a sickly man (Nicola Tombacca) finding affection from a cat at his strange boarding house presided over by an overly flirtatious and demanding landlady (Sherry Michaels). Tombacca provides a subdued counterpoint to Michaels’ blowsy, sex-starved older woman. Williams reveals a man finding the strength to come out of the closet thanks to comfort from the cat.

Group Rep’s reflective production of revealing one-acts focuses on breaking free of isolation by developing connections and taking risks.

Group Rep presents “Let Me Hear You Whisper” and “The Strangest Kind of Romance” Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 7pm through May 5 at Upstairs at The Group Rep, Group Rep Theatre, located at 10900 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets cost $20, $15 for seniors/students with ID. To purchase tickets visit thegrouprep.com or call (818) 763-5990.

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