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      And then along comes a chance for THE LAST ROMANCE.  But she's not so sure about that, and the sister is definitely opposed, and the tenor encourages thoughts of a long ago love affair with opera.  Therein lies a sweet  and funny and moving story.  I sat in on a rehearsal about a week before opening night.  They weren't in costume yet.  The set still needed a few finishing touches.  But the characters were there.  Oh yes.
      Such wonderful characters.  It opens with a dialogue exchange between the older man and his sister, and they play off each other like a brother and sister who have done this for a lot of years.  Then the opera singer  sings, and I love him, and when he stops I wonder, "Is it okay if I applaud?"  Then we see a beautiful woman, not interested in chitchat, desperately calling for her dog Peaches.  They are in a dog park after all.  There's a chain link fence and a brick wall behind that, and trees, and a very long bench.  We see only these four characters, but clearly there are more people and their dogs in this dog park.   And the older friendly man and the somewhat distant, more reserved older woman begin to sit on this long bench and talk a bit.
      All these characters have life experiences that we don't find out about until later in the story.  But their "present behavior" is so engaging that I stayed right there in their "present" with them.  I laughed a lot.  And I was profoundly moved by the "before you know it time is up" realizations.  And that wonderful tenor voice.  Of course I am one of those "people of age" who can relate to all these emotions.  But, you know, it reflects on choices made and most definitely speaks also to those younger than I am.  And I think this story is relevant now when we have been in isolation for a year, all of us any age, who think we are being slowly released into the larger world.  What will I wish I had done?
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