Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will present THE LAST WIDE OPEN, a love story that encourages audiences to take a personal, humorous look at modern-day courtship, romance and relationships, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It begins Feb. 9 in the Shelterhouse Theatre and runs through March 10, with support from The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Season Sponsor of New Work. Opening night is Feb. 14.

The world premiere, under the direction of Artistic Director Blake Robison, was written by Playwright Audrey Cefaly and described by Cefaly as “a love song in three movements.” This romantic tale sweeps the audience up into three different realities in which the same characters attempt to forge a connection despite language barriers, personal stories and histories, and cultural differences.

The production, which features original songs with lyrics by Cefaly and music by Composer/Sound Designer Matthew M Neilson, follows Lina, a waitress, and Roberto, an Italian immigrant. The two find themselves on completely different paths of their own creation giving the show an element of fantasy.

THE LAST WIDE OPEN takes place in the twilight hours of an ordinary night on a normal day during a thunderstorm. The date is May 5, present day. The location is Frankie’s, a small Italian restaurant that is closed for the evening. Two characters, Lina and Roberto, enter onstage. She is an emotional person and a dreamer. He is a poetic and generous Italian immigrant. They are about to share their fate-filled love story – imagined in three different realities.

“THE LAST WIDE OPEN began as a short, 30-minute play called Clean,” Robison explained. “I loved that play, but it was too short to program into our season as a full evening of theatre. So, when the playwright, Audrey Cefaly, told me that she wanted to expand it into a full-length work, I jumped at the chance to collaborate with her. We commissioned her to write the newly expanded version, and I fell in love all over again.”

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