LUMINESCENCE DATING is a thriller about a lost statue, a lost son, an ancient mystery and a love affair between two desperately mismatched people. Angela Hart has spent the better part of her career searching for a voluptuous naked Aphrodite sculpted by Praxitiles in the fourth century B.C. and lost to history. Her colleague and friend Victor Reid, a gay black anthropologist specializing in Queer Theory, steals a broken glazed arm from an excavation led by her professional nemesis, British archaeologist Nigel Edwards, and Angela begins to study it. As the ancient clay arm yields its secrets, these three highly competitive, emotionally charged academics begin to unravel the mystery of the missing statue, unleashing a whole set of desires that are orchestrated and stimulated by the Goddess of Love herself, an aging and world-weary Aphrodite disguised as the museum's cleaning lady. Ultimately the statue is never found, but the heat generated by the search yields its own delicious rewards.
"The play succeeds at conveying the delights of intellectual collaboration. It rattles with sly wit and with the great narrative drama that can be dug from the past. As in Tom Stoppard's cerebral mysteries, there's a satisfying click each time a piece of these puzzles fall into place." —NY Times. "Lives up to its billing as a romantic comedy about history, art and the timelessness of love and loss." —CurtainUp. "[LUMINESCENCE DATING] is bright, appealing…works very well as a romantic thriller and the dialogue is a smooth mix of science, academic wordplay and wonderful wit. Ms. Perloff's words are instantaneous and effectual, making this fast-paced suspense entertaining." —Talkin' Broadway. "So you get a little science, a little love, a little magic, and a little romance brewing seductively in a museum basement, as Perloff thoroughly charms you with her play." —Contra Costa Times. "Clever, engaging and entertaining…" —San Francisco Examiner.