Before pop-culture guru Chuck Klosterman ever railed against John Cusack and Coldplay for ramping up the expectations in the relationships of actual living people, we had Neil Simon raising the bar. In one little rom-com of a play, he'd create conflict, diversion and some sort of wrap-up to show that love could conquer all...even political disconnects. Take, for instance, The Star-Spangled Girl. A sweet little conservative Olympic athlete moves in next door to some protest rag journalists (insert first love triangle) and falls for the most liberal of the two, despite being engaged to a Marine (insert second love triangle). It's Simon, so we know things will work out with enough schadenfreude to keep the audience happy, but not as much happy-ever-after as a John Hughes movie. Hey, maybe it'll end up with a match made at the political crossroads like CNN fave James Carville and his wife Republican political consultant Mary Matalin. Of course, they're actual living people, so probably not. Check out Rover Dramawerks' production of Simon's The Star-Spangled Girl Thursdays through Saturdays through February 14. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 972-849-0358 or visit roverdramawerks.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 31, 2 p.m. Starts: Jan. 22. Continues through Feb. 14, 2009