Warm, heartfelt and unabashedly slow-moving, Magdelyn Theatre Company's production of Susan Sandler's Crossing Delancey is an engrossing treatise on familial love, the sting of loneliness and how sometimes we must reach into the past to jumpstart the future.

Magdelyn's intimate space matches the material perfectly; a fable about a young woman named Isabelle who reluctantly allows her grandmother Bubbie to play Cupid. Annie Kaiser infuses "Izzy" with a clumsy-nerdy-sexy charm; she's confident and literate but won't admit she's painfully lonely, despite her overwhelming crush on pretentious novelist Tyler Moss (Jared Roylance). But once Bubbie and a professional matchmaker produce the (seemingly) dull but sweet Sam the Pickle Man, things get all complicated for Izzy.

Bubbie simply assumes Izzy is unhappy because she isn't married. Is she not an adult, educated woman capable of making her own decisions? Is this attitude not sexist and antiquated? Is this not a women's theater collective? Thankfully, it is, so events unfold in an emotionally and politically satisfying manner, as Bubbie lets sparks slowly develop between Sam and her granddaughter. Love comes to Izzy after all, but on her own terms when she's good and ready. True love sometimes means having extreme patience.

The ensemble labors to ensure their characters are as amusing as they are complex. Patricia Price-Yates is clownish and boisterous as Hannah the matchmaker while Andy Copeland is a subtle and gentle Sam. Ironically, and ultimately less importantly, the ensembles acting is weakened by technical flaws, notably awkward line reads and butchered New Yawk accents.

A small cramped set representing Bubbie's kitchen, Izzy's bookstore and a park bench indicates these folks are cramped and restless in their lonely Manhattan lives. The scenic design, like everything else here, is done with affection and immaculate detail.

Lovingly directed by Maree Kniest, Crossing Delancey is clean and cynicism-free, making it appropriate for all ages, but ideal for mother-daughter duos. BRIAN BOONE

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