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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 5:11 pm | Fair with Haze 64º


Gerald Carpenter: Elite Theatre in Oxnard ‘Selling Love’ with Romantic Comedy

The Elite Theatre in Oxnard is offering a most delectable summer treat, the world premiere of Selling Love: A Cleansing Romantic Comedy by Logan Rica Smith.

The bubbling comedy is directed by Andrew James and stars Cecil Sutton, Allison Chase Williams, Nathan Paul, Travis Winterstein, Lindsey Newell, Roger Krevenas and Sindy McKay.

Selling Love takes place in a milieu, which the great New Yorker writer Michael Arlen called the "job family" — amid the "office misadventures or employment rivalries."

For many of us, as Arlen observed, the relationships we develop with the people at work often have greater emotional importance than the ones we have at home, with our "real" families. This goes way beyond the cliche of the boss and secretary getting romantically involved.

The job family began on television, the creation of Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, and eventually spread to the big screen with such films as Office Space. Inevitably, the job family made it onto the stage, its way prepared by the comedies of Neil Simon.

Writing about the television comedies of Norman Lear, Arlen says that "the base of the Lear programs is not so much the family and its problems as it is the commonality that seems to have been created largely by television itself, with its outpouring of casual worldliness and its ability to propel — as with some giant, invisible electric-utility feeder line — vast, undifferentiated quantities of topical information, problem discussions, psychiatric terminology, and surface political and social involvement through the national bloodstream."

What we are dealing with is a "new consciousness," and Selling Love addresses our new consciousness directly. In the words of the Elite Theatre's publicist: "In the big-time world of small-time soap manufacturing and sales, two employees seek self-cleansing and find a bubbling love that is matched only by their boss’s fervor for the product they sell. When a corporate hatchet man descends upon them, the entire office is put on edge and no one’s job is safe. This uproarious comedy shines with fun and laughter and will leave you with a greater appreciation for your own (comparatively) sane workplace!"

I leave it to you to decide how "sane" your own workplace might be; no doubt objectivity is out of the question. But such spurious comparisons should not dampen your enjoyment of this highly entertaining play, Selling Love.

Selling Love plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 29 at the Elite Theatre, 2731 S. Victoria Ave. in Oxnard. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors, and can be reserved by calling 805.483.5118 or online by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected].

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