“Old Love” poses the question: Can two people in their late 50s find new love after the end of long, loveless marriages?
Molly (Ruth Crawford) has just buried a miserable son-of-a-bitch of a husband, when Bud (Thomas Mahard), arrives at the gravesite. He has just been ditched by a sleazy, self-absorbed social climber who left him to care for a son fathered by another man.
Bud is a mensch. He really tries with Molly, pursuing her with breathtaking zeal and gusto. Molly, on the other hand is cranky and crusty, having lived a married life alongside a husband indifferent to her existence.
A dark but funny plot unfolds. Mahard evokes many laughs along the way, as he earnestly expresses an awkward honesty. He is good at comic timing and brings the audience along with him on this late-life existential journey. Crawford’s delivery is more deadpan. She gets her laughs for snippy, sardonic, sarcastic rejoinders. Together they wrest their way through the passage of time.
Crawford and Mahard also play the parts of their ex-spouses and of Molly’s son and daughter-in-law. These changes in character are done seamlessly with the assistance of minimal costume changes.
“Old Love” addresses, a bit lightheartedly, the latest new demographic phenomena, the aging of baby boomers and the new lives they might live after the end of a loveless marriage.
Williamston Theatre Continues through June 15 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays $20 Thursdays/$25 Friday- Saturday evenings/$22 matinees ($10 students; $2 discount for seniors/military) 122 S. Putnam Road, Williamston (517) 655-7469, williamstontheatre.org