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Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

When Old Lovers Meet

'Shooting Star,' Boulevard’s intimate romantic comedy

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In Steven Dietz’s intimate comedy Shooting Star, two former lovers cross paths years later in an airport. Stranded by a snowstorm, the still free-spirited Elena (Anita Domnitz) and the now suit-and-tie guy Reed (Jaime Jastrab) try to find their place in the world by reminiscing about the past and what’s happened since they parted ways.

Boulevard Theatre’s “less is more” approach serves the play well; the set is minimal and the actors must tell the story. And a fine job they do, thanks in large part to director David Oswald’s tight focus and Dietz’ smart dialogue.

“Do you really want to keep bumping into people you’re done with?” the uptight Reed tells the audience at the start. His is the more challenging of the two roles, and Jastrab is well suited to the part as his bland business veneer provides a blank page for the hippie-ish Elena to draw upon with broad stereotypical strokes. He becomes more likeable as he loosens his tie, literally, and replaces the initial macho bravado with the truth of his circumstances.

Domnitz’s Elena is, at first sight, that fiercely independent woman who talks of spirituality and dresses with a Bohemian funkiness that blares “Summer of Love.” Yet, she brings out a touching and poignant side to Elena’s free spiritedness, reaffirming that she has always stood by her man. They have both directly affected each other’s lives and find a way to do so again, even if only for a brief moment.

Sometimes you can’t go home again, or, in the case of Shooting Star, recapture the past, much less retrace its steps.

Sometimes it’s just enough to watch the flash of a trail it leaves behind in the dark amid the shining stars.

Shooting Star runs through Feb. 16 at Boulevard Theatre, 2250 S Kinnickinnic Ave. For tickets, call 414-744-5757 or visit boulevardtheatre.com.

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