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Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly


Maytag Virgin

Gillian Shelly and Will Hardy in Audrey Cefaly's Maytag Virgin
Gillian Shelly and Will Hardy in Audrey Cefaly's Maytag Virgin- Photo by Harvey Levine.

"Audrey Cefaly has penned an old-fashioned slow-burn romance in Maytag Virgin. Cefaly’s two-hander has an enjoyable slow-poke style for most of its two-plus hours. Cefaly, who also directs this confident, relaxed show for the Quotidian Theatre Company, makes her characters rich and mixed-up enough for us to build some real affection for them. " Read the full review.

-Nelson Pressley - The Washington Post

"Both Shelly and Hardy were perfectly cast in these roles. They play well off each other, with an authenticity and chemistry that feels very natural. (Which is especially important, since they comprise the entire cast.) Their interactions have the right formula of both tenderness and awkwardness, and it is a pleasure to watch them fumble their way through a friendship that evolves, slowly, into something more. For something so preoccupied with death, grieving, and moving on, it is important to state that this is primarily a comedy. This is both to the credit of the script and to Shelly, who brings Lizzie to life with Southern sass and charm." Read the full review.

-Jennifer Clements - DC Theatre Scene

“…a heart-warmer of a play. To begin with you've got a bundle-of-nerves English teacher, Lizzie Nash (a truly luminous performance by Gillian Shelly), who is taking a 'sabbatical' year to mourn the loss of her husband. Her solitude is disturbed by the arrival of new neighbor, Jack Key, himself a widower (a solid, stoical Everyman turn by Will Hardy). This tried-and-true plot of opposites attract is brought vividly two life by two stellar performers, and Cefaly's sturdy direction. The story, set in the fictional town of Lenoraville, Alabama, is two parts Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart) and one part Lanford Wilson (he of Talley's Folly fame). You have all the charm and tang of a dialogue steeped in the Deep South, and from the moment you meet them you just know that this couple--strangers at first, in neighboring shotgun shacks--will sooner or later end up in each other's arms. forget the plot; it's the emotional journey of Maytag Virgin, not the destination that gives it such a wallop. Cefaly writes with sympathy and a finely-sharpened wit… I eagerly await their next collaboration [Quotidian and Cefaly], [Cefaly] has a lot to offer the Washington stage." Read the full review.

-Andrew White -

"The audience at the October 4th production was so enthusiastic that applause began at the start of the intermission. (It probably helped that Cefaly was in attendance.) Her writing is poetic at times, but very real always. Cefaly’s characters speak like everyday people but are nonetheless compelling, as they struggle to overcome the heartache of the past with courage they didn’t know they have. It’s refreshing to have the topic of religious differences raised in a contemporary play with humor. Maytag Virgin gives comfort to any lonely hearts who believe he or she (it’s usually a she) cannot find love without changing to suit the other person. Cefaly couldn’t have done better with the casting. From the moment Shelly starts to babble out of habit but also nerves (upon meeting an attractive new neighbor), her performance embraces the many facets of Lizzy perfectly. She is both girlish and world weary, warm and off-putting, ebullient and terrified of a repetition of her loveless marriage (with serious consequences). If possible, Hardy is even stronger. His Jack is also vulnerable, with his share of sorrow—caring for a long time for a dying love. But he sees something Lizzy can’t yet see about their serendipitous proximity. Both in his soothing and sometimes teasing way of speaking with her, his wordless expressions, and his wide-eyed looks, he portrays an incredibly attractive character many a woman would wish for. His “Don’t you want me?” in the play’s finale is as endearing a portrait of a man’s love for a recalcitrant woman as I’ve seen in a while." Read the full review.

-Barbara Trainin Blank - MD Theatre Guide

"…beautiful world premiere…. Cefaly’s writing is richly-layered, creating compelling characters that must balance love and heartache, the safe with the unfamiliar. Her deft directing style focuses on the intimate connections within her own character-driven narrative, propelling the action with beautiful pacing and heartwarming comedy. While the first act mainly deals with exposition, the second act turns up the heat and leads both actors on an exciting and honest journey of self-discovery, culminating in a deeply moving final scene that highlighted both actors arcs and depth. Maytag Virgin is an unexpected romance, a sincere progression of two people thrust together unexpectedly, both helpless and broken by their pasts but brought together by a desire to survive. Audrey Cefaly’s unflinchingly honest story is one no one should miss; take your mom and ‘dem and don’t miss it!" Read the full review.

-Natalie Rine-  DC Metro Theatre Arts

Gillian Shelly and Will Hardy in Audrey Cefaly's Maytag Virgin
Gillian Shelly and Will Hardy in Audrey Cefaly's Maytag Virgin- Photo by Harvey Levine.
Gillian Shelly and Will Hardy in Audrey Cefaly's Maytag Virgin
Gillian Shelly and Will Hardy in Audrey Cefaly's Maytag Virgin- Photo by Harvey Levine.
Our 2015-2016 Season

Maytag Virgin
written and directed by Audrey Cefaly

Part of the landmark event: DC Women’s Voices Festival
More info:
Oct 2 – Nov 1, 2015

Athol Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes
directed by Laura Giannarelli
Apr 29 – May 29, 2016

An original adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s
classic love storyThe Lady with the Little Dog

directed by Stephanie Mumford
Jul 8 – Aug 7, 2016

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