Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw first demonstrated their onscreen chemistry in the iconic ’70’s film, Love Story. The pair has reunited now for a national stage tour of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. The captivating production involves O’Neal, who plays the studious and sensible Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and MacGraw, who shines as poor little rich girl, Melissa Gardner. The duo’s turbulent relationship unfolds over the course of 50 years beginning as children and then carrying them toward the much later days of their lives.
The play is ultimately an homage to two lost art forms that once dominated our society—listening and the art of letter writing. As Andrew and Melissa look back into the crevices of their hearts and memories, it’s painfully depressing to realize that love stories today can be deleted in an instant and exist only on invisible, intangible clouds.
As a writer, the play made me yearn for the comforting feel of quality cardstock and the graceful, indelible strokes of a fine fountain pen. Love Letters is a must-see show for fans of Love Story but especially the 20 and 30-something generation that has traded love letters for texting and is more likely to snap selfies than listen.
Love Letters runs through July 26 at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Avenue, Ft Lauderdale, FL, 33312.