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4 onstage lovers share their real-life romantic stories

"Love/Sick"Russ Rowland

Even if you have a special someone to celebrate with this Valentine’s Day, there were probably a few laugh-out-loud moments along the way. The “slightly twisted” off-Broadway comedy “Love/Sick” looks at love found and lost through nine vignettes about the highs and lows of modern courtship, which weave together to form one universal storyline.

We spoke to the four cast members – including Dee Roscioli (“Wicked”) and playwright John Cariani, who has replaced an injured actor – to learn about their real-life relationships and most memorable dating experiences.

When it comes to the kind of first-date horror story that we all dread, Debargo Sanyal has been there. “A bird once pooped on my head approximately three minutes before I arrived at the restaurant for a blind date,” he says. “I was hoping it would maybe bring me good luck that night, but it didn't. The date was basically a hot mess – as was my dried-bird-poop-encrusted hair.”

Simone Harrison is a bit further along on life’s journey - she’s been with her husband for 10 years and married for two, with one child. But that doesn’t mean she knows what to expect. “With that many years under your belt, you would think you really know someone well,” she says. “But sometimes I wake up and think: ‘Who is that guy in the living room?!’”

But before they found each other, there’s one breakup that’s stuck with her. “My first boyfriend in high school picked me up one day after school by surprise” to take her to Central Park - and broke up with her while sitting under a tree on a blanket. “I went deaf; I cried all the way home on the subway, obviously with everyone staring at me,” she recounts.

“There is actually a piece in ‘Love/Sick’ that is very similar. We were discussing the improbability of someone doing something like that, and I raised my hand like, ‘Um, someone did that.’”

Making love last has taken time and soul-searching for Dee Roscioli. “I’ve been in a relationship for the past eight (or is it nine?) years. Most of it has been long-distance, and we make it work.”

Though she didn’t go on a lot of dates, she considers herself “pretty lucky in love … But the little bit I have done is a disaster! What I learned from that was most people aren’t as honest as you think they are.”

John Cariani found love 15 years ago with his partner, and has a simple lesson for those still looking: “To quote Shawn Colvin, “You don't look for love, it's gonna look for you.”

‘Love/Sick’
Through Feb. 24
Royal Family Performing Arts Space, 145 W. 46th St.
Tickets $18

 
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