An old love can be an irresistible force, especially for people in their autumn years. Is marriage an immoveable object? Old Flame, a new play by Richard Ploetz, weighs the force of an old romance against the strength of a 50-year marriage, examining our vulnerability to rediscovered passion, no matter what our age.
The play, set in Astoria, Queens in the year 2000, describes the romantic intrigues of people who are no longer young: in fact, they are now on the cusp of 70. Mike Ripley, a 72 year old Florida dentist who was Barbara Marchand's bad-boy high-school boyfriend, surprises her with a phone call on their shared birthday. This shakes up Barbara's 50-year marriage to Frank, a loving but bumbling tire salesman. Frank, not knowing how to fight for Barbara, is left to suffer in his own self-pity. Old Flame considers the question of what love is and if it changes over time. If Barbara finds her way back to Frank, will he -- should he -- accept her?