2’s Review: ‘Maytag Virgin’
FORT MYERS, Fla. – If you’re among those who may be feeling as though love has passed you by then make plans to attend “Maytag Virgin” playing at Florida Rep.
Don’t let the title of this show scare you off. I must admit I had reservations but after walking into the cozy ArtStage Studio I quickly found myself immersed in this romantic comedy filled with southern charm.
The small theater literally sits the audience in the backyards of two middle-aged Alabama school teachers who discover it’s never too late to start again.
This gripping performance focuses on the show’s only two characters Lizzy Nash played effectively and brilliantly by Actress “Tyler Layton” and Jack Key played genuinely and simply by Actor “Duke LaFoon.”
The duo clearly has natural chemistry which makes the show believable and heartfelt.
Both characters experienced the loss of their spouses and are dealing with their emotions in very different ways. I never believe in giving away the plots in my reviews so I can simply tell you that the show is about love and loss and reinventing yourself just when you think you can’t.
While both Lizzy and Jack or Mr. Key, as he’s referred to throughout the show, struggle to be good neighbors and a love interest develops but not fully until each faces their past and allows themselves to move forward into the future by confronting the healing power of connection and forgiveness.
You’ll witness barriers developed by emotional pain breakdown as trust and love re-enters their lives.
While “Maytag Virgin” has little to do with the appliance but it has everything to do with raw emotions that we all have dealt with in life.
This laugh-out-loud comedy has equally sobering moments between the two characters as they unfold and reveal their true identities throughout a one-year period.
The show is full of great character writing by playwright Audrey Cefaly but a show like this relies heavily on the experienced and seasoned acting of Layton and LaFoon who equally deliver emotion and build depth to their character roles.
Layton is brilliant at delivering her comedic lines and the drunk scene is memorably acted.
While the storytelling may be a bit slow it works with the laid-back atmosphere in rural Alabama complete with night scenes and an inviting atmosphere as the show is peppered with some good down home country music in between scene changes and detailed props.
In short, I loved this show and I am so glad I saw it. Do yourself the same favor and enjoy theater the way it was meant to be.
“Maytag Virgin” runs through May 22nd. The run has included more than four nearly sold-out performances and it’s no wonder.
You can call the Florida Rep Box Office at 239-332-4488.