Can love heal all wounds? Mark Goffman, playwright of
"Me Too," has proof that supports this theory.
Goffman's grandfather, a concert violinist, had a heart attack and stroke and fell into a coma. But when the cellist in his quartet confessed the she loved him while he lay lifeless in the ICU, a miracle occurred. Within 30 seconds of her confession, his grandfather awoke. Six months later the two were married.
"There is no doubt in my mind that what she said to him brought my grandfather back," Goffman mused. "Her love for him allowed him to live another six years and have a new life."
"Me Too," which plays through June 25 at the Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood, was inspired by this story, and was also informed by Goffman's Reform Jewish upbringing in Houston.
"Judaism has always been a part of my life, and I wanted a character to have that religious and cultural background to bring that element to the play," Goffman said.
When the audience first meets Andrew (Jeremy Glazer), a Jew from Ohio, he has just realized his date from the previous night may never call him again. During just the past year, he's professed love to dozens of women in an indefatigable search for a female companion. As a kind gesture, his friend Geoff (Greg Pitts) grants him access to his Myspace.com page and consequently enables Andrew to meet Lucy (Kelly Overton).
Quirky similarities -- including an insistence on punctuality and enjoyment of fruit juices -- prove to Andrew and Lucy how much they have in common. However, on their second date, Lucy reluctantly informs Andrew of news that she is sure will be a deal breaker -- she has cancer.
But this devastating announcement does not faze love-struck Andrew. In the heat of the moment, he divulges that he, too, has cancer.
In actuality, Andrew is disease-free. However, since Lucy's illness would have caused her to end their courtship, Andrew devises this lie to stay in her life. He truly believes that his presence and love will help cure her cancer.
Unfortunately Andrew's best-laid plans do not prevent the truth from being revealed, and he must deal with the consequences of his impetuous choice.
Although this bittersweet play boasts heavy subject matter, Goffman, with his witty and well-researched dialogue, has tastefully drawn out humor from these grave circumstances.
"I wanted to show in this play how loves changes with time," Goffman explained, "and how your perception of what love is changes as it grows stronger."
"Me Too" plays through June 25 at the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. For more information, call (323) 960-7745 or visit www.plays4111.com/metoo.