Theatre Review: KALAMAZOO at Act II Playhouse

What do you get when you combine two well-seasoned actors and one adorably written script?   A fun refreshing night out in the town of Ambler! 

As part of their 20th season, Act II Playhouse proudly presents its summer comedy Kalamazoo.  And yes, Act II should be proud.    Kalamazoo tells the story of senior citizen widowers Peg and Irv who find themselves in their twilight years searching for love in the modern-day online dating world at the suggestion of their adult children.

Playwrights Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Youngery provide the book for this warm and very comical twist on the typical dating scene.  This one-act comedy showcases relatable common relationship obstacles such as first date jitters, topics of conversation, sex, romance, and commitment all while making the audience member look through the eyes of a more experienced, yet somewhat naive generation. 

The naivety of this elderly couple is the forefront of the comedy allowing for much quick-witted innocent banter between the two.  Not to give anything away but their use of “friends with benefits” was one of these moments that particularly brought a tear of laughter to this reviewer’s eye. 

While the script is chock-full of belly laughs, there is also a very tender side that tugs at the heartstrings and who better to tackle these characters but two of Philly’s finest.  The role of Peg is genuinely played by Barrymore Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Carla Belver.   Belver understands the role completely and plays the dizzy innocent Irish Catholic church lady with such sweetness that you can’t help but love her.   She provided just the right amount of spunk and depth for Peg so that she didn’t come off as just the cute grandma type.  Think 5th “Golden Girl”.  Jack Hoffman, takes on the role of Irving, the charming, worldly Jewish gentleman.  Hoffman brings life to this cantankerous, yet likable character with charisma and heart.  The two were a “match” (pun intended) from the second the show began.

The cleverly designed yet simple set by Dirk Durossette did not distract from the action or feeling of the show and the hip and contemporary playlist during the scene changes was a very welcomed added touch.    Director Mary Carpenter put together a fine production allowing the audience to escape their worries for the week and just sit back and feel some hope with this light summery romantic comedy. 

Kalamazoo has a run time of 75 minutes and proves that age is just a number, second chances are worth taking and everyone’s a little young at heart. 

Kalamazoo runs through August 4th with various showtimes.   For more information or to reserve tickets, visit the Act II Playhouse website at


Photo by Mark Garvin

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