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Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company

IT HAD TO BE YOU Offers Non-Stop Laughter During Torrance Theatre Company's PLAY-AT-HOME Series

Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company

Torrance Theatre Company's PLAY-AT-HOME, a series of online theatrical experiences, designed to entertain our community during the stay at-home orders, is back this fall with nine fantastic shows presented online from September through December in which company members volunteer their time and talent via online platforms for patrons to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Buying a ticket for PLAY-AT-HOME, featuring some of your favorite TTC actors and directors, means you are assisting in "keeping the lights on" at 1316 Cabrillo Ave., hoping to welcome you back to their theater space in 2021. Patrons can purchase $20 per household tickets for each show at

The first play in the series was IT HAD TO BE YOU, written by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, on Sunday, September 6 at 6pm. Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company This delightful comedy, directed by Gary Kresca, shares a fantasy story created by Theda Blau (Jessica Plotin), a failed actress, health food nut, and would-be playwright who wants to find love and success in New York. After an audition, the totally unprepared Theda meets Vito Pignoli (Steve Oreste), a hugely successful TV commercial director who had been sitting quietly in the booth listening to her jabber uncontrollably, her flighty nature both a turn-on and turn-off.

Sensing she has a chance to rope Vito into co-writing a new play with her, the two take a cab ride to her apartment so she can share her latest draft, which of course is a complete mess. What isn't a mess is the way in which Plotin delivers the almost-non-stop verbal antics that this ditsy, seemingly bubble-headed blonde overwhelms Vito with, while plying him with enough alcohol so he lands up in her bed. And by holding him hostage in her apartment on a snowy Christmas Eve, she hopes to convince him to be her partner both on the page and off.

Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company Of course, poor Vito can barely get a word in edgewise, but when he does it only leads to him throwing out his back in frustration. And with no way to get a ride out of there due to the snowstorm grounding all cabs and limos, Vito must endure listening as Theda rages on and on. His suffering only increases when she makes him vegan spaghetti and meatballs, which he claims almost poisons him. Not to mention the non-coffee she offers him when they awaken together in the morning! Oreste masterfully takes us along on Vito's emotional journey from being a closed-off-to-life corporate "yes man" back to the free-spirited creative soul he was and certainly will be in the presence of Theda's off-the-wall, live-in-the-moment existence.

How did this journey happen so quickly? Somehow during their ramblings,Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company Theda manages to get Vito talking about what really is bothering him in his life, perhaps what is really causing him so much physical pain. And it has nothing to do with her. When she finally convinces him to place a long-overdue telephone call to his son, Vito realizes his life is about to turn around for the better and he has no one but Theda to thank for it. And thus, her mission to nab him has succeeded.

With the laughs going on non-stop, I found it difficult to take any notes for this review as doing so caused me to miss the next few jokes. So I finally just sat back, enjoyed a glass of wine (or two), and laughed my troubles away for 90 minutes thanks to the expert direction, writing and extraordinary comedic timing of the cast.

And now I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the PLAY-AT-HOME series which includes the following:Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company

The Puzzle With The Piazza by Mark Dunn on Sunday, September 20th at 6pm

Chapatti by Christian O'Reilly on Sunday, October 4th at 6pm

Bauer by Lauren Gunderson on Sunday, October 18th at 6pm

The Velocity of Autumn by Eric Coble on Sunday, November 1st at 6pm

Annapurna by Sharr White on Sunday, November 15th at 6pm

Beyond Glory by Stephen Lang from book by Larry Smith on Sunday, December 6th at 6pm

Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry on Sunday, December 13th at 6pm

Review: Delightful Comedy IT HAD TO BE YOU at Torrance Theatre Company And a very special holiday treat:

A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play adapted for the stage by Joe Landry, Music by Kevin Connors on Sunday, December 20th at 6pm

Stay informed and order tickets by visiting or calling (424) 243-6882 if you have any questions. The Torrance Theatre Company is a program of the Cultural Services Division of the Torrance Community Services Department www.TorranceCA.Gov and sponsored in part by Friends of Torrance Theatre Company.

Photo credit: Rachel Baumstein

From This Author - Shari Barrett

Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in secondary schools,... (read more about this author)

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