By Rodolfo Trujillo
“The Girl Who Loved the Beatles” is the short, but tender story of a young woman who flees her dull suburban life for the excitement of New York City.
The play consists of two unnamed persons, in the summer of 1974 at an advertising agency in New York City.
The Beatles have been broken up for four years already, but for a sweet and idealistic woman from Ohio, played brilliantly by Cynthia Villar, it could be the 60s all over again.
She leaves her husband after realizing that he was not going to make her happy.
She then applies to an employment ad in the paper and meets the owner of the Advertising Firm, played by second year actor Vincent Mata.
It turns out the firm goes out of business and he is closing up the office.
She is upset and tells the back story of what brought her to where she is, slowly getting her would-be boss to tell her his story.
It is obvious from the beginning that the characters are polar opposites.
She likes The Beatles and he likes Frankie Avalon.
She is very emotional and he comes off as very practical.
She is a lonely person and tries to stay in the office as long as possible, which he eventually obliges.
Throughout the course of the play, the audience sees that there may be more similarities between the two than they originally thought.
“Lonely, depressed people are drawn to each other,” she said.
Eventually, she gets him to talk about his own failed relationship and he begins to take interest in her life.
She makes it her mission to save him from his cynicism.
The chemistry between both actors is palpable.
Both characters see someone interesting in the other yet someone dull in them.
At one point, he sits and she interviews him, trying to help him deal with the losses in his life.
She proves to be an inspiration to his life and he confirms her belief in the goodness of people.
Director Kelley Hogan decided to go with this play as an introduction of sorts to what the Beatles meant to the generation that had grown up with them.
“I wanted to show how important The Beatles were to her generation,” said Hogan.
Mata said that he had a lot of trouble with getting the correct accent and just being understood.
He said that he studied for the character and based his performance on the character Leo Bloom from the movie “The Producers.”
It was a challenge at times to understand exactly what accent Mata was trying to play, yet he grew comfortable with the character over time, and it was obvious that part of the stumbling nature of his lines in the play were part of the character’s insecurity with himself as opposed to Mata’s lack of delivery.
“I wanted the statements to mean something,” said Mata.
Villar was unavailable after the play on Friday