Celebrate Valentine's Day with a special someone when M&M Productions brings A.R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play "Love Letters" to Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre. Performances are Friday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
A touching story that is both witty and bittersweet, this 1988 play follows the "near misses" of a relationship through a lifetime of love letters. From summer camps and boarding schools, through college, war, career and romance, audiences will watch the journey between free-spirited but unstable artist Melissa Gardner and dutiful lawyer Andrew Makepeace Ladd III as they write to each other about their dreams, ambitions, victories and defeats over the 50 years that they live out separately.
Directed by Mike DiIorio of Hamilton, the show stars Kelsey's own M. Kitty Getlik of Hamilton as Melissa and Walter Smyth of Trevose, PA, as Andrew.
The artistic director of Kelsey Theatre for more than 20 years, Getlik also served as the general manager of the Open Air Theatre at Washington Crossing State Park for 19 years. Among her many acting roles she has appeared as Mrs. Pearce in "Pygmalion," Mrs. Higgins in "My Fair Lady," Miss Hannigan in "Annie," and The Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz." She also works as a performer with R & R Theater To Go, performing murder mysteries in the tri-state area.
Smyth has appeared with noted Shakespearian actor Morris Carnovsky in "The Merchant of Venice" and toured in "Auntie Mame" with Hollywood actress Constance Bennett. He has performed in productions across the U.S. and directed the World Premier Production of legendary poet Robert Frost's "A Masque of Reason."
Among the notable actors who have performed "Love Letters" over the years are Kathleen Turner and John Rubinstein, who opened the show Off-Broadway; Larry Hagman and his Dallas co-star Linda Gray (early 1990s), who reprised his role in 2006 with his "I Dream of Jeannie" co-star Barbara Eden; and Elizabeth Taylor and James Earl Jones, who gave an AIDS Foundation benefit performance in 2007. The play was also adapted into an ABC television movie in 1999, starring Steven Weber and Laura Linney.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and $12 for children. For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre box office at 609-570-3333, or visit www.kelseytheatre.net. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.
Pictured: M. Kitty Getlik of Hamilton as Melissa Gardner and Walter Smyth of Trevose, PA, as Andrew Makepeace Ladd III.