Gabe meets Annie for the first time in the bar of a bowling alley. He asks her to watch him bowl in the tournament the following Saturday.
“No! Definitely no. “
“Because if it’s boring when I bowl why would I watch a stranger do it?”
The beginning of “Half Moon Bay,” a play by Dan Moyer that is running at the Cherry Lane through June 4, does not promise a great romance. But it winds up delivering something almost as sweet – a charmingly-acted, quirky, subtly comic, touching look at the tentative, fumbling effort by two characters to make a connection.
Gabe (Gabriel King) finally convinces Annie (Keilly McQuail) to agree to try to make it to Gabe’s league championship. She doesn’t. But she’s back at the bar when Gabe shows up, without shoes. Eventually, she invites him home, for a night of drinking games, revelations, and sex – and an explanation of why he isn’t wearing shoes, which may make some theatergoers sigh.
“Half Moon Bay” may not be a perfect play – the characters’ interaction may not always be entirely believable, it may be a tad too leisurely. But as imperfect as it may be, it deserves love, just as do the two characters, imperfect as they may be. Gabe says at one point: “I recognize, in the end, how little my life will add up. I recognize I’ll never finish a marathon or write some book that makes everybody stop eating chicken. But I could love someone.”