Saturday, September 19th 2020   |

Playwright Wolfson here to launch ‘Play Dates’

Sam Wolfson, one of the two successful playwrights who brought us “Jewtopia,” travels to New Orleans from his Los Angeles home to oversee the first of several regional premieres of his new work “Play Dates,” bowing tonight at the Mid City Theatre for a three-week run.

Wolfson and partner Bryan Fogel have decided to work separately these days. But not to worry. As a play, “Jewtopia” did bring them both a lot of attention and profitability and soon the film of “Jewtopia” will be released, exposing thousands more to their humor. Now in editing, the film stars Tom Arnold, Jon Lovitz and Jennifer Love Hewitt among others.

But Wolfson is serious about playwrighting and wanted to tackle something more universal than, say, gefilte fish and herring. A number of theaters that would have mounted “Jewtopia” were unable to do so because of its large cast and the numerous scene changes called for in the script. Wolfson opted to write future plays with smaller casts and less scene changes.

Play Dates,” which just completed a successful six-month run at the Asylum Theatre in Los Angeles is his first such effort.

Sam Wolfson, one half of the writing team of "Jewtopia" is ready for "Play Dates" to appear on regional stages. ©Tolucan Times

The three-act, 90-minute romantic comedy intertwines what Wolfson calls the three different phases of romance and is intended to attract a more general audience. “The first is romance in childhood,” he explained in an exclusive telephone interview. “Part two is when you are the stage in life before you settle down, when you’re lost and confused and don’t know what you’re doing. The third part is when you’ve settled down with someone and (want to know) how to keep alive the romance.”

The Theatre 13 production stars producer Gary Rucker and Ashley Ricord Santos, who directs. Leon Contavesprie and Lisa Picone round out the cast. In the first section of the play Rucker and Santos perform as five-year-olds innocently attracted to each other. “We see them later grown up,” Wolfson admitted, acknowledging that Rucker and Santos return as a committed couple trying to work things out in the third act.

“It hits everybody’s phase in life,” Wolfson opined about his new play. “It’s got something for everybody.”

Wolfson will be available for talkbacks with audience members at the Mid City Theatre, 3540 Toulouse Street in New Orleans, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights following the conclusion of the 8:00 p.m. performances. Online ticket purchasers at the Theatre13 site can purchase tickets here. Special $5.00 discounts for this opening weekend are available to online ticket purchasers only by typing the code SAM in the proper box. Tickets are also available by dialing 504-421-0744 or calling the box office at 504-488-1460.

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