Local playwright, novelist and columnist Mike Zielinski, who hosts The Mike Zielinski Show on BCTV, is having his full-length play ACCIDENTAL CHRISTMAS ROMANCE – a charming comedy with delightful characters and surprising twists – produced by the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in the heart of the Broadway theatre district.
ACCIDENTAL CHRISTMAS ROMANCE will be performed on Friday, December 1, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 2, at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Manhattan Rep, 17-19 West 45th Street. Tickets are $20. For reservations, visit www.manhattanrep.com.
ACCIDENTAL CHRISTMAS ROMANCE is being directed by theatre artistic director Ken Wolf, who also directed Zielinski’s five one-act comedies this year at MRT — THE CONFESSION, CLERICAL MATTERS, CRITICAL MASS, THE AUDIBLE, and SISTER MARY AND THE PAGAN BABIES.
In ACCIDENTAL CHRISTMAS ROMANCE, Deb Marshall is downsized from her job just before Christmas, a holiday she loves. She decides not to finish her Christmas shopping to save money but her mother, Doris Marshall, encourages her to do so. Deb crashes her car into that of Tom Brennan in a mall parking lot. They both are immediately smitten with each other. He convinces her to go shopping with him, then insists on buying her gifts, taking her to dinner, giving her a cab ride home, and promises to help her find a new job. Doris is extremely suspicious of Tom’s motives, thinking he is taking advantage of her daughter’s misfortune to buy his way into her heart.
Undeterred, Deb invites Tom to Christmas Eve dinner at her mother’s, without Doris’ knowledge. Doris is angry when Tom arrives and when she discovers that his parents are spending the holidays in Hawaii, she tests the limits of Tom’s generosity by asking him to take her and Deb with him to Hawaii for the holidays. To her shock, Tom agrees.
They never get to Hawaii. What happens next are some startling developments that jeopardize Deb and Tom’s accidental Christmas romance.
“When I began writing plays last year, I learned about Manhattan Rep, a small unique theatre for new work in New York that is devoted to the creative artist and bringing a playwright’s words to life,” Zielinski said. “I’ve discovered what a thrill it is to be a part of live theatre – the collaborative process of the playwright, director and actors plus the interaction with audience. Ken Wolf is an amazing director and I’ve learned so much from him. And I’ve been fortunate to work with such gifted actors.”