Somehow social distancing and self-quarantine don’t seem to be situations which foster romance. Not to be deterred by impossible odds, Juliette Jeffers has made the decision to locate Mr. Right – wherever he is – using a means right at her fingertips: the internet. Thus Whitefire Theatre again launches into its streaming series of the “Best of the Fest” from their Solofest productions which predated the worst of the current COVID-19 crisis. Written and performed by Juliette Jeffers with original direction by Denise Dowse, CHOCOLATE MATCH outlines the treacherous journey many singles must take through cyberspace to locate their one-in-a-million perfect mate.
Undeterred by possibly dismal odds and dedicated to her fully frenzied approach to love – or else – Juliette registers with every dating app known to single humans (and some married folk hoping to spread their love a little outside of their domestic boundaries). Hilarity reigns as Juliette meets the quirky to crazy to scary guys in her odyssey to find the man of her dreams. As time goes on, the search becomes addicting, especially for someone as focused and determined as Juliette. Happily for us, Juliette soon realizes that – although her multiple guys may not be “the one” – they are sure funny and worthy of an uproarious stand-up solo show.
Jeffers has an uncanny ability to shed her skin and become some of the losers she meets – both black and white – in her quest for love. Meanwhile, the audience gets to share what goes on in the dating world of today. As Jeffers manoeuvers between dates, the audience chuckles and sometimes outright guffaws at her experiences. She really has a knack for morphing into someone else as she ably captures the mannerisms and speech differentiating each of her attempts to find love. The set is intimate and depends on lighting and a handful of props to convey Juliette’s story.
How is this streaming thing working for the audience at home? Of course, there is no substitute for live theater with a stage, an audience, and the connectedness that happens only in a live encounter. But, as we all know, today’s environment is not conducive to the live theater we are used to. At this point in time, all theaters across the U.S. are shuttered. What to do? While not perfect, streaming is probably the next best thing to being there in person. And it is clearly better than no theater at all. Given the stress of the current COVID-19 pandemic, everybody is in genuine need of entertainment. We need, and maybe even crave, something to take our minds off the frequently grim reality of our daily lives. That said, if audiences are looking for the closest to a live theater experience, then this is probably it. It’s different laughing by yourself instead of within a big group – but it’s still laughter – and it still takes your mind off your daily stress. And maybe even alleviates some of your boredom. After all, you’ve had to shrink your personal boundaries for months just to stay healthy and safe.
CHOCOLATE MATCH can be streamed from the Whitefire Theatre’s library. Tickets are $9.99 with a service charge of $2.40. For tickets and information, call Whitefire at 818-687-8559 or go online.