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Southampton Cultural Center Reminiscing About Love - Just In Time For Valentine's Day

Nicole Barylski

Catherine Maloney and John Leonard. (Photos: Dane DuPuis)

A lifelong love affair will take center stage in the Hamptons when Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) presents A. R. Gurney's Love Letters.

The play revolves around Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, star-crossed lovers that keep a meaningful correspondence throughout the years. It begins during childhood, with birthday party thank-you notes and postcards from summer camp. Their relationship eventually develops into a romantic nature, and they continue to write each other through boarding school and college - as Andrew thrives at Yale and law school, while Melissa fails at several "good schools." Melissa ends up marrying while Andy is off at war, however the two remain close. Eventually the couple find themselves together again, alas it might just be too late.

"Love Letters is the type of show that makes you realize love should never be taken for granted," Michael Disher, who will direct the production, noted.

The SCC production will star Daniel Becker coupled with Barbara-Jo Howard and John Leonard coupled with Catherine Maloney. Each duo will star for two performances, and on Sundays, they will switch partners.

"I expect to see couples find one another's hands and hold tightly," Disher said. "This play impacts and resonates with anyone who has loved, been loved or has fallen in love."

Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called Love Letters a "deceptively simple and quietly moving play," while David Rooney of Hollywood Reporter noted, "A table, two chairs and a pair of actors reading from scripts on an otherwise bare stage sounds like one notch up from a radio play. But A.R. Gurney's deceptively simple 1988 epistolary two-hander, Love Letters, is that rare work whose emotional richness requires no embellishment in order to become a full-bodied theatrical experience."

General Admission is $25 and children's tickets (under 21) are $12. There will also be Dinner/Theatre packages - offered at The Plaza Cafe and Claude's at the Southampton Inn - and Brunch/Theatre packages offered at Fellingham's and Claude's at the Southampton Inn - available.

"Love Letters, like love, is seemingly simple and deeply complicated. I adore this play," Disher concluded.

Love Letters can be seen Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 17 at the Southampton Cultural Center's Levitas Center for the Arts. Performances will be held on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

The Levitas Center for the Arts is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631 287-4377 or visit www.scc-arts.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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