Backstage presents special Valentine’s Day |

Backstage presents special Valentine’s Day

Love isn’t just puppy dogs and roses. Sometimes couples make it, against all odds. Sometimes “we just kind of crash into people; sometimes we look at each other, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes the timing is right. Sometimes it’s not,” said Wendy Moore, who will sit beside her husband, Bob, and read the cards and letters from two characters who kept in touch for more than 50 years, sharing the hopes, dreams and defeats that passed between them throughout their separated lives.

The Moores present A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” for a special engagement on Valentine’s Day. The play revolves around Melissa, a drifting artist brought up in a dysfunctional family, and Andrew, an ultra-conservative lawyer who walks the straight-and-narrow. Their letters include innocent banter, hilarious exchanges, bittersweet recollections, sexual longings and entwined destinies. Gurney earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his script.

The Moores are about a decade shy of knowing each other for the 50 years the characters have been involved; they met at Heritage Square Opera House, where Wendy Moore worked in Golden, on New Year’s Eve of 1971 and married in December, 1972. The two have shared a lifetime passion for theater.

“It’s something that’s sustained us,” Wendy Moore said. “We’ve loved it our whole lives … we are so lucky that we have this shared enjoyment.”

In fact, the couple presented “Love Letters” about 20 years ago at the Backstage, though now, they respond to it differently. Originally, they felt more hopeful for the characters, but after a lot of “life lessons,” they’re not as optimistic. And though they don’t see many parallels between the characters’ relationship and their own, they’ve seen everything that happens in the play occur on the stage of life with people they’ve known.

“Certain areas are going to resonate with people,” she said, adding the story unfolds like Robert Frost’s poem about two roads diverging in the woods. The question: Was the chosen path the right direction?

“It’s a wonderful little life journey of two characters that had some wonderful feelings (about) each other,” said Bob Moore. “It ends very touchingly (and bittersweet).”

“It’s pretty darned accurate,” Wendy Moore said. “Life is a series of steps and missteps … we make choices in life. Sometimes we change that. Other times, we don’t.”

While the character’s relationship doesn’t necessarily turn out as the Moores would have liked it to, their own marriage has been a “lucky” one of acting, teaching, building and co-parenting two daughters.

After the Moores met at Heritage Square, Bob Moore began working there. They moved to St. Louis when the company transferred them to run the Goldenrod Showboat on the Mississippi River.

“Bob was the manager of the operation, and I was the director of the show, so it was interesting: I could throw him out of the show, but he could fire me,” Wendy said with a laugh.

In 1978, they moved back to Colorado because they enjoyed the climate better, and Wendy Moore landed a job with the school district, where she eventually became assistant principal at the high school and, later, principal at the middle school.

“We decided to take a year to figure out (if we wanted to live in Summit), and in the meantime, we just kept staying and had our second daughter,” she said.

Bob Moore worked in the construction industry, eventually running BigHorn Materials. In 1998, Wendy Moore got a job at Roaring Fork High School as principal, so they moved to Carbondale, which she says was a “fabulous career move (in which she) had so much fun.” Bob Moore concentrated on remodels and repairs. When they retired in 2005, they began traveling and doing theater in various locales, including Snowmass, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and, of course, their home away from home, Breckenridge.

“The Backstage production stars two of the best-loved actors in our 37-year history,” said artistic director Christopher Willard.

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