At first laughs in the Santa Clara Players production of “The Lost Virginity Tour” by Cricket Daniel, one is tempted to settle in for an amusing, perhaps a touch naughty, evening of witty fluff and fun about a discreet if not taboo topic. Four women of a certain age — long-time friends — take a cross-country road trip together, returning to the scenes of where they lost their virginity.
“When liquor-laced cookies are the highlight of our week, it’s time for us to shake things up,” says Rita, vice-president of the Happy Trails Baking Club at a retirement community in Arizona.
But at the first stop along the trip back to an innocent and naive time — and at the three subsequent stops—one is surprised and moved as each very different story of lost virginity unfolds.
“The play is thought-provoking. It’s deeper than you think it’s going to be at first,” said Campbell resident Debra Wiegert, attending dress rehearsal on Feb. 13. “It shows how the event of losing their virginity was a defining moment for the women.”
As well as evoking laughter, the frank dialogue is peppered with tidbits of insight.
“What if revisiting our pasts, alters our futures?” asks Elaine. It is a question foreshadowing the consequences of the road trip.
“If you never forgive yourself, then you can never move on,” says Rita.
“No use wasting a single day on regrets,” agree the women. “Life is full of second chances.”
The entire cast is on stage in every scene. Estelle Piper is the resigned widow Elaine. Diane Thorne as hard-bunned, four-time divorcée Viola, wears knock-out, leopard-skin platform shoes.
Savvy New York native Pat Cross becomes Kitty, a sweet, never-married southern belle. Marilyn Pifer debuts with Santa Clara Players in her role of happily-married Rita.
Pifer commented that she wanted to be in the play because “I like what the play is saying, its message about friendship, consequences and second chances.”
“I hope the play will make people more aware of their behavior,” said producer and director George Doeltz.
Doeltz, also the set designer, cleverly uses the same wooden benches in each scene. They are transformed from a kitchen counter in Arizona to a life guard lookout at a beach at Cape Hatteras, NC; bunk beds in a Ball State University dorm in Indiana; a double bed at Grandma’s house in New Jersey and outdoor benches at a Colorado cabin.
The Lost Virginity Tour premiered in 2018 in Bend, OR, where playwright Cricket Daniel, a California native, now lives.
“I hope that as a storyteller, I will move the audience to tears,” said Daniel just before the premiere. “I do enjoy when somebody will seek me out afterwards and say, ‘You made me think about such-and-such for the first time.’ When they have a personal connection, and they share that with me, I thoroughly enjoy that.”
The California premiere of The Lost Virginity Tour runs Feb. 15 through March 9, in the 71-seat Hall Pavilion, 1750 Don Ave., on the grounds of Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art. For show dates and tickets, visit www.scplayers.org.
The playwright will attend the Feb. 23 performance.
“I highly recommend this play but not for a first date night or for children,” said attendee Rachelle Delben from San Jose. “I’m coming back with another friend.”
A portion of the proceeds from the production of The Lost Virginity Tour will be donated to YWCA Silicon Valley Crisis Intervention.