Riverside Theatre presents Joe DiPietro’s comedy The Last Romance


Riverside Theatre, led by Producing Artistic Director/CEO Allen D. Cornell and Managing Director/COO Jon R. Moses along with Riverside Theatre’s Patron Producers Group, presents Joe DiPietro’s romantic comedy, The Last Romance performing on the Stark Stage from February 5-24, 2019.

Love can make anyone feel young again, even an elderly widower. On an ordinary day in a routine life, Ralph decides to take a different path on his daily walk. Instantly smitten by an elegant, mature woman, Carol, he turns on the charm hoping for a second chance at love. Defying Carol’s reticence, Ralph embarks on a journey to regain the happiness that seemed all but lost. The Last Romance is a heart-warming comedy about finding love at any age.

Set in Hoboken, New Jersey, the play focuses on Ralph, a widower and frustrated opera singer, who leads a rather mundane life sharing a small apartment with his sister, Rose. When dreams of an operatic career never materialize, Ralph works hard to build a comfortable life with his wife. However, he cherishes the occasional evening at the Metropolitan Opera where he envisions the life that never occurs.

Ralph’s sister, who was left by her husband years ago, keeps Ralph on a rather strict routine. When Ralph deviates from that routine and goes to a new park, she is shocked at his openness for new opportunities. Sitting at this new park, Ralph spies Carol, an attractive, dignified and well-dressed woman. Instantly intrigued, he and Carol develop a friendship. Although neither Ralph nor Carol are totally unencumbered, can their friendship develop into something else?

Riverside’s production of The Last Romance is directed by Chris Clavelli and stars husband and wife team P.J. Benjamin and Louisa Flaningam as Ralph Bellini and Carol Reynolds with Andrea Gallo as Rose Tagliatelle and Colten Blair as the Young Man.

The design and production crew includes: Ray Recht (Scenic Design), Susan Mickey (Costume Design), Todd Wren (Lighting Design), Trevor Peters (Sound Design), Audrey M. Brown (Stage Manager), Amy Bertacini & Kyle Atkins (Assistant Stage Managers). Casting was done in New York City by Wojcik / Seay Casting.

The Last Romance performs February 5-24, 2019 on the Stark Stage at Riverside Theatre. Tickets start at $35. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or online at http://www.riversidetheatre.com.

Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; with matinees on Wednesdays, select Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.

Performance Schedule:

February 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 19 20 & 21 @ 7:30pm

February 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 23 & 24 @ 2pm

February 8, 9, 14, 15, 21 & 22 @ 8pm

Riverside’s 2018-2019 Season also includes: My Fair Lady (March 12-31) and Legally Blonde (April 16 – May 5) on the Stark Stage and Ghost-Writer (March 26 – April 14) on the Waxlax Stage.


Playwright Joe DiPietro graduated with a degree in English from Rutgers University in 1984 and planned on attending law school at the University of California at Los Angeles. Shortly before he was to leave, he was offered a job with the sports division of CBS. He stayed for a decade, rising to the position of advertising copywriter while also cultivating his interest in theater. At the suggestion of a friend, DiPietro started writing comic sketches and very short dramatic scenes for a theater company in New York.

In 1996, DiPietro’s first produced work, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, opened at the Westside Theatre Off-Broadway and ran for twelve years, becoming the second longest-running Off- Broadway musical behind The Fantastics. He followed that production with 1998’s comedy Over The River And Through The Woods, which played the John Houseman Theatre and ran for over two years.

DiPietro’s work made its Broadway debut in 2005 with the Elvis Presley jukebox musical All Shook Up. In 2010, DiPietro and David Bryan, from the rock group Bon Jovi, wrote Memphis, which played Riverside Theatre in 2015. Memphis won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical and ran at the Shubert Theatre for over three years.

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