A slice of romantic cheesiness

“The Poetry of Pizza” is a story of love blossoming when two unlikely soulmates — an American poetry professor and a Kurdish refugee — find each other in the most unexpected setting: a pizza parlor in Copenhagen.

“The Poetry of Pizza” is a scheesy romantic comedy by Deborah Brevoort, presented by the California Repertory Company and now playing at the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary this month into March.

Directed by Anne Justine D’Zmura, the play stars Nancy Bell as Sarah Middleton and Arbër Mehmeti as Soran Saleen.

Though the play is set to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the romantic performance is far from the cheesy cliché-filled lines of bad date movies.

From the start, the play was one hilarious show. The pizza ninjas — or stage ninjas indirectly taking part in the show, normally wearing all black — entertained the audience for the first five minutes. Although they didn’t have anything to do with the play itself, they kept the theme of the play fresh in the audience’s mind. Played by Damian Kerr and Turner Munch, various parts of the play made the audience laugh at the subtle acting they took part in.

Complete with the warm feeling of watching a love story, the comedy of the show kept the audience bursting with laughter, and almost to tears with the raunchy sexual humor and delicious originality of several characters who were confused in a love-tangled web.

But what is a love story without some heartache? Just when facial expressions from the audience drooped into sadness because the characters they empathized with grew grim, an off-sight and unexpected gag kept the audience on their toes.

“[The play was] intelligent and hilarious for the entire duration.” said Carlos Mejia, audience member. “It’s hard to catch your breath in-between the laughter and the gasps in this gripping play.”

D’Zmura said that questioning prejudgmental ideals and stereotypes is good because humankind should celebrate its differences, “The two unlikely lovers must cross cultural divides and bridge communications gaps.”

The theater, located in the engine room of the Queen Mary, was a simple and open stage. Creatively done to hold an audiences’ attention to where every character stood, “The Poetry of Pizza” distills selected elements of human emotions into a comical, relatable and realistic point of view.

The play is a must-see performance to attend — especially with a loved one — to celebrate a belated Valentine’s Day with beautiful pizza. The production runs from Feb. 19 to March 13, Tuesday through Saturday.  


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