Friendship, relationships, love and redemption — “Maytag Virgin” delivers

Friendship, relationships, love and redemption — “Maytag Virgin” delivers

Is love sweeter when it’s unexpected, when it arrives later in life, after great loss?

Is it worth the risk to be vulnerable?

“Maytag Virgin,” at Gulfshore Playhouse (through April 3) plays with these questions.

“It’s a hopeful love story for a time when we need hopeful love stories,” says playwright Audrey Cefaly. “It’s what we need right now. Human touch is just a fantasy right now. Not just with a lover, but with (our friends and family,) with Grandma.”

Her two characters, Lizzy and Jack, live next door to each other in Alabama, “But they can’t seem to get together,” she says. “So close and yet so far. Primarily, there are themes of grief and guilt, and yes, love. Those are big things.

“But it’s also a story about friendship. I think the most important aspect is that she needs a friend who really sees her.

“That’s what is resonating with me these days: we’re all so isolated, we need that human connection, we need that human touch. We need to be in the midst of those who love us.”

Though she wrote it years ago, Ms. Cefaly sees its parallels to our current pandemic time as being “almost uncanny.

“It takes place over the course of a year. And by the end, they are in a different place at the end of their ordeal than when they started out.”