By Dee Fisher
By Dee Fisher

For those of us who observe Lent as a time of spiritual renewal and devotion, 2013 has posed some difficulties. The day after Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season, was Feb. 14, famous in story and song as St. Valentine's Day, devoted to love and lovers. It was taken off the church calendar some time ago, and it has become a secular celebration of flowery excess, with merchants across the nation encouraging us to spend, spend, spend in honor of our loved ones. This glut of marketing and consumerism doesn't necessarily add to one's spiritual growth, but it does part you from your money quite easily.

The other difficulty in any lenten season is St. Patrick's Day, which traditionally falls on March 17. Even if you have absolutely no connection to the country of Ireland, everyone is Irish on this day! It is still a saint's day on the church calendar, but, once again, its celebration has become rather secular in nature. And, especially in this country, it has become the tradition to wear green (usually purchased just for this day) and indulge in some adult beverages, often colored green.

Again, not terribly spiritual in nature, but always a lot of fun. Weekend Comedy, opening next month at Van Wert Civic Theatre, is a funny nod at the romanticism of Valentine's Day while still allowing one to speculate about the nature of human relationships, especially those between men and women. When these two couples, in the time before internet reservations, both reserve a one-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin for the same weekend, the stage is set for both laughs and groans. Add to that the disparity in age and background between the couples, and you have the ingredients for some real sparks between characters.

Frank and Peggy are a typical, hard-working middle class married couple, celebrating 40 years together. They are staid, solid, and just a bit boring. Okay, they're a lot boring. Peggy is hoping against hope to relight the fire between her and her office supplies salesman husband, but the odds look to be stacked against her.

Tony and Jill, on the other hand, are a privileged, slightly spoiled unmarried couple who just want to have fun. They have a hard time understanding Frank and his attitudes about marriage, jobs, and responsibility, as they don't feel bound to any one of those things. So, here we have an opportunity during this Lenten season that will allow you to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with just a tinge of Valentine's Day along with it. Weekend Comedy by Sam and Jeanne Bobrick opens March 14 and runs two weekends, including St. Patrick's Day (a Sunday matinee performance). You can give your valentine a belated gift: go to church in the morning to mark the saint's day, have a lovely lunch with your valentine and then go together to see this very funny play about relationships, maturity, and the clash of generation. Sounds like a real plan to me!

As the season begins to wind down, I would encourage patrons and season ticket holders to check out their supply of tickets. If you didn't know it, the different levels of patronage offer not just two tickets per show, but a large assortment of tickets that can be used throughout the season. If you have some extras after the first three shows, why not ask some friends to come along with you to one of the performances? You'll be able to enjoy each others' company and be entertained at the same time. The box office opens for patrons and season ticket holders on March 4, next Monday, so don't put it off too long! Once the general public can reserve tickets starting March 11, the seats will probably go quickly.

See you at the show!