Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
The New Century
Neither the playwright nor the Diversionary Theatre production knows how to conclude this otherwise funny play about seeing through stereotypes. Three-fourths of Paul Rudnick's piece is character-driven, stand-up comedy. A trio of eccentrics (if only seen from afar) blister one-liners as they describe lives with much more in common than appears on the surface: Helene, mother of three "non-traditional" children; Mr. Charles, the world's gayest man; and Barbara Ellen, a Midwestern crafts expert/fetishist (who "wears polyester without irony"). Rudnick assembles them for a final scene that, try as he might to will a meaningful result, feels forced. The journey, however, is often a treat. Though some monologues could use more spontaneity (taking out pauses for starters), Dana Hooley, Phil Johnson, and especially Jacque Wilke as Barbara Ellen turn comedy into touching confessions. Though the design elements are minimal, Jennifer Brawn Gittings's costumes are extraordinary, in particular her leopard-spotted final tableau.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Saturday, January 2, 2010
- Sundays, 2pm & 7pm
- Thursdays, 7:30pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm