Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Advance, Retreat

The Meters, a New Orleans funk band, asked in song, “Now that we found love, what’re we gonna do with it?” Terence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune offers contrasting ­answers.

Maybe each of us has a Love Timer. When — okay, if — we’re lucky enough to find that special someone, each has an ingrained sense of how quickly to proceed. In youth, the Timer’s probably on fast forward (“Love? Oh forever, my trembling dove”). As one grows older, experiences accrue, and haste gives way to slower pacing and, possibly, among the alpha-wary, an urge to hurl that incessant ticker into a ­Dumpster.

McNally’s humble pair has so much in common they could be twins. Not just their names, which recall the famous song, but birthplaces, schools, tastes, nicknames of relatives. If one needed signs to confirm one’s destiny, all urge them to bond. Trouble is, their Love Timers ­conflict.

Johnny’s gung ho. He isn’t just smitten, he’s SMOTE, knocked so gaga that midway through their first date he’s quoting Shakespeare, talking marriage, children, soul mates. “There’s a reason,” he says, “why we’re called Frankie and Johnny” (he forgets that, in the song, Johnny “done” Frankie so wrong she shot him three times, “root-e-toot-toot”). Johnny worships her every move, as if she’s a living ­masterpiece.

Frankie’s been burned, bad. What looks like destiny to Johnny to her looks like a tweaked Romeo with a hair trigger. The heated attention’s kind of fun, plus hearing all that wonderful love stuff, but to her, Johnny Speedball’s miles down the track (imagine living with someone that ardent for any length of time). He’s “too sincere!” So, Frankie’ll stay for the credits — i.e. the one-night stand — but may choose not to see this movie ­again.

Frankie and Johnny will probably read you as much as you read into it. Can the couple last? Do we, as Johnny swears, have “just one moment to connect — one chance, and then it’s over”? McNally keeps several possibilities open. Though bringing on Debussy’s limpid “Clair de Lune,” at just the right instant, tends to tip the ­scales.

Frankie and Johnny has nudity and language worthy of a stevedore, so it’s not for everyone. Nonetheless, Ion Theatre could give its stellar, off-night production an open-ended run. The intimate play’s a perfect fit for Ion’s new space. And the company’s design work (in particular, that full moon rising out the window) shows that it has already mastered the room’s limited technical ­capacity.

Though their characters are far apart, Jeffrey Jones and Deanna Driscoll function as one being: he charging, she retreating — though not completely. Jones has the tics and twitches of someone just released from prison. He also deftly pinpoints a gap in Johnny’s sincerity. He’s on his best behavior, but is this guy for real (he does, after all, have a “shadow” ­side)?

Driscoll’s Frankie has played these scenes before. Like Shakespeare’s Cressida, she knows that “things won are done” and that “joy’s soul lies in the doing.” Instead of being swept away, troubled Frankie spends most of her energy building barriers. But like Jones, and with the same subtle touch, Driscoll also creates a tiny gap in her performance: a smidge of ­hope.


Diversionary Theatre’s Moscow feels like the early stages of a work-in-progress. Or not even that: more like a trial read- and sing-through to see what’s missing. A whole lot, it turns ­out.

For unknown reasons, three gay men are stranded in some sort of limbo, unsure whether they are dead or alive (adding to the confusion, their names are Matt, Luke, and Jon). Curtains and a stagelike floor suggest a theater. So, they decide to perform Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters as a musical. As in Waiting for Godot, that will give them something to do, one says, give them “structure.” And unlike the Prozorov sisters, who never make it to Moscow, it might give the trio a way ­out.

Maybe there’s an idea there: combine Sartre’s stranded trio in No Exit with Godot and Chekhov. But the script and music are so clichéd that nothing comes of it (example: “It’s easier to talk about our characters,” one says, “than to talk about ourselves”). At least a fourth of the play’s a facile Cliff’s Notes analysis of Three Sisters. The rest is just sketchy and ­predictable.

A tight, three-piece backup group — piano, violin, and flute — accompanies the performers but can’t do much with Maury R. McIntyre’s songs, which unfold like variations on the same melody. Neither can the actors, whose roles are so skimpy they barely qualify as types. For most of the play, Kevin Koppman-Gue’s Luke is just angry; John Whitley’s Jon, the wise explainer; and Angelo D’Agostino’s Matt, the waverer. All put energy into their songs but — D’Agostino in particular — tend to flatten whole notes. They perform on a minimalist set with minimal ­results. ■

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally

Ion Theatre, 3704 Sixth Avenue, Hillcrest

Directed by Claudio Raygoza; cast: Deanna Driscoll, Jeffrey Jones; scenic design, Glenn Paris; costumes and props, Paris and Raygoza; lighting, Raygoza; sound, Caitlin Sussman

Playing through June 19 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Matinee Saturday at 4:00 p.m. 619-600-5020.

Moscow: A Musical Play, book and lyrics by Nick Salamone, music by Maury R. McIntyre

Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard, University Heights

Directed by Ira Spector; cast: John Whitley, Angel D’Agostino, Kevin Koppman-Gue; scenic and costume design, Megan Schmidt; lighting, Karin Filijan; musical director, Patrick Marion

Playing through May 30; Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Matinee Sunday at 2:00 p.m. 619-220-0097.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nathan Fletcher's viral propaganda push

County supervisor to pack staff with video maker, social media star

The Meters, a New Orleans funk band, asked in song, “Now that we found love, what’re we gonna do with it?” Terence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune offers contrasting ­answers.

Maybe each of us has a Love Timer. When — okay, if — we’re lucky enough to find that special someone, each has an ingrained sense of how quickly to proceed. In youth, the Timer’s probably on fast forward (“Love? Oh forever, my trembling dove”). As one grows older, experiences accrue, and haste gives way to slower pacing and, possibly, among the alpha-wary, an urge to hurl that incessant ticker into a ­Dumpster.

McNally’s humble pair has so much in common they could be twins. Not just their names, which recall the famous song, but birthplaces, schools, tastes, nicknames of relatives. If one needed signs to confirm one’s destiny, all urge them to bond. Trouble is, their Love Timers ­conflict.

Johnny’s gung ho. He isn’t just smitten, he’s SMOTE, knocked so gaga that midway through their first date he’s quoting Shakespeare, talking marriage, children, soul mates. “There’s a reason,” he says, “why we’re called Frankie and Johnny” (he forgets that, in the song, Johnny “done” Frankie so wrong she shot him three times, “root-e-toot-toot”). Johnny worships her every move, as if she’s a living ­masterpiece.

Frankie’s been burned, bad. What looks like destiny to Johnny to her looks like a tweaked Romeo with a hair trigger. The heated attention’s kind of fun, plus hearing all that wonderful love stuff, but to her, Johnny Speedball’s miles down the track (imagine living with someone that ardent for any length of time). He’s “too sincere!” So, Frankie’ll stay for the credits — i.e. the one-night stand — but may choose not to see this movie ­again.

Frankie and Johnny will probably read you as much as you read into it. Can the couple last? Do we, as Johnny swears, have “just one moment to connect — one chance, and then it’s over”? McNally keeps several possibilities open. Though bringing on Debussy’s limpid “Clair de Lune,” at just the right instant, tends to tip the ­scales.

Frankie and Johnny has nudity and language worthy of a stevedore, so it’s not for everyone. Nonetheless, Ion Theatre could give its stellar, off-night production an open-ended run. The intimate play’s a perfect fit for Ion’s new space. And the company’s design work (in particular, that full moon rising out the window) shows that it has already mastered the room’s limited technical ­capacity.

Though their characters are far apart, Jeffrey Jones and Deanna Driscoll function as one being: he charging, she retreating — though not completely. Jones has the tics and twitches of someone just released from prison. He also deftly pinpoints a gap in Johnny’s sincerity. He’s on his best behavior, but is this guy for real (he does, after all, have a “shadow” ­side)?

Driscoll’s Frankie has played these scenes before. Like Shakespeare’s Cressida, she knows that “things won are done” and that “joy’s soul lies in the doing.” Instead of being swept away, troubled Frankie spends most of her energy building barriers. But like Jones, and with the same subtle touch, Driscoll also creates a tiny gap in her performance: a smidge of ­hope.


Diversionary Theatre’s Moscow feels like the early stages of a work-in-progress. Or not even that: more like a trial read- and sing-through to see what’s missing. A whole lot, it turns ­out.

For unknown reasons, three gay men are stranded in some sort of limbo, unsure whether they are dead or alive (adding to the confusion, their names are Matt, Luke, and Jon). Curtains and a stagelike floor suggest a theater. So, they decide to perform Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters as a musical. As in Waiting for Godot, that will give them something to do, one says, give them “structure.” And unlike the Prozorov sisters, who never make it to Moscow, it might give the trio a way ­out.

Maybe there’s an idea there: combine Sartre’s stranded trio in No Exit with Godot and Chekhov. But the script and music are so clichéd that nothing comes of it (example: “It’s easier to talk about our characters,” one says, “than to talk about ourselves”). At least a fourth of the play’s a facile Cliff’s Notes analysis of Three Sisters. The rest is just sketchy and ­predictable.

A tight, three-piece backup group — piano, violin, and flute — accompanies the performers but can’t do much with Maury R. McIntyre’s songs, which unfold like variations on the same melody. Neither can the actors, whose roles are so skimpy they barely qualify as types. For most of the play, Kevin Koppman-Gue’s Luke is just angry; John Whitley’s Jon, the wise explainer; and Angelo D’Agostino’s Matt, the waverer. All put energy into their songs but — D’Agostino in particular — tend to flatten whole notes. They perform on a minimalist set with minimal ­results. ■

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally

Ion Theatre, 3704 Sixth Avenue, Hillcrest

Directed by Claudio Raygoza; cast: Deanna Driscoll, Jeffrey Jones; scenic design, Glenn Paris; costumes and props, Paris and Raygoza; lighting, Raygoza; sound, Caitlin Sussman

Playing through June 19 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Matinee Saturday at 4:00 p.m. 619-600-5020.

Moscow: A Musical Play, book and lyrics by Nick Salamone, music by Maury R. McIntyre

Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard, University Heights

Directed by Ira Spector; cast: John Whitley, Angel D’Agostino, Kevin Koppman-Gue; scenic and costume design, Megan Schmidt; lighting, Karin Filijan; musical director, Patrick Marion

Playing through May 30; Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Matinee Sunday at 2:00 p.m. 619-220-0097.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Fabian Nunez fails to work magic for Mercury lobbying firm

Santee's Mayor Minto can't write his column
Next Article

A poem for Independence Day by Francis Scott Key

His poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” became the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close