It’s a distinct pleasure to be directing this play, with these actors, in this theatre. Having directed another of DiPietro’s plays last fall, I have come to appreciate this playwright’s humor and way with emotion; but most of all, I admire the sweetness with which he portrays relationships that don’t get a lot of attention in popular plays. In Over the River and Through the Woods, DiPietro shows the special bond that can exist with one’s grandparents. Of course, The Last Romance is about two people falling in love, navigating the maze of courtship, but DiPietro equally draws our attention to the sibling relationship. The joys and disappointments of life over decades has carved ridges and valley in the hearts of these characters, and the natural thing for them all to do might be to remain safely ensconced in their routines, to rein in expectations, to settle into a comfortable geography. Desire, love, change — are these worth trading security for? How far will we go to hold on to the ways that we know? On the other hand, what rewards await us if we take new direction on our daily walk? Perhaps there is a reason DiPietro included so many operatic arias in this play. As Ralph says, our lives can seem so small. But in opera, as in The Last Romance, the little things turn our to be big and vital.