While the subtitle of the show, My Romantic History, is “a profane comedy,” the all-white set says otherwise, with a purist, minimalist look to it. I thought to myself, a sharp contrast to the bold, edgy material. A woman, dressed quite risqué, introduces Act I, almost in the fashion of a boxing match. What ensues are vignettes, battles of the sexes, the entire play contrived, almost like an actual boxing match.
The two sides (men vs. women) spar, making sidebar comments to the audience, revealing true emotions. Every relationship takes place in the workplace, with matchmaking and flirtations rampant, quite credible and realistic.
Tom, the lead actor (Henderson Wade), who also makes his producing debut in My Romantic History, shares an amazing, natural chemistry with Emily O’Meara (Amy). “Fun is a universal code,” he states sardonically, as every woman he encounters is drawn to him. It’s a cat and mouse charade, with the after hours of the workday most fun of all; Tom is “catnip” to all the girls in the office.
It’s done tastefully and not over the top, with subtlety in romance, drama, and humor. It’s an excellent analysis of desperately seeking love in all the wrong — or right? — places. Each character is striving for love, with all its angst, ups and downs, attempting to seek intimacy, whether emotional or sexual.
Chick Vennera, Renegade Theatre Founding Director, is a shining inspiration to this group of young, rising stars. A constant tug of war ensues between the contrasting elements of life and love. At the end of the day, this existential quandary is poignant and relevant to so many people in LA, searching for one’s soul mate.
My Romantic History runs through July 29 at The Renegade Theatre located at1514 N Gardner St. For tickets, visit www.therenegadetheatregroup.com.