Tiffany Toner playfully asked me to guess who the singular real-life lesbian was amongst the cast of “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” the other night after the show at Mysterium (where it plays through Sept. 16). I told her my gaydar wasn’t very good and proved it by guessing wrong—twice. As for Jane Chambers’ pioneering 1980 play about love and friendship in a community of gay women, it’s beginning to show its age despite its topicality. Or at least one of us is.
The ensemble is erratic, especially in the first act with most of them overplaying it. Toner herself is first-rate as free-spirited Lil, who’s in love for the first time in her life. Tara Golson (as Eva, Lil’s lady love) and Barbara Turino (as Sue, the senior member of the group) provide solid support. Director Marla Ladd ultimately makes us care about these characters, and that’s the bottom line. Call 714-505-3454.
Unlike “The Red Violin,” which followed a violin through the centuries, across the world, “I Love a Piano” follows a piano as it moves in and out of American lives. And instead of the substance that stains the violin red, “Piano” is imbued with such classic Irving Berlin songs as “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “Anything You Can Do,” and natch, the titular tune. Which seems appropriate for a show that’s a celebration of Berlin, the man whom Jerome Kern once said, “has no place in American music—he is American music.”
The fourth show of 3-D Theatricals’ 2012 season, “Piano” is directed by David Lamoureux and choreographed by Kami Seymour, with musical direction by Daniel Thomas. Gail Bennett, who was memorable in 3D’s “Drowsy Chaperone” last year, is featured in the cast. The show continues through Sept. 23 at the historic Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton, then travels ‘cross town to Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center for three performances Sept. 28–30. Call 714-589-2770.
Hot tip: Contrary to its title, the All Puppet Players’ production of “Hamlet Has No Legs!” (previously performed at the Maverick) is up and running again, this time at the Curtis Theatre in Brea. Sept. 14-22; call 714-990-7722.
More from Jordan:
‘The Changeling’ in Long Beach http://exm.nr/QkL8HY
’12 Angry Men’ in Fullerton
Mysterium revives Orson Welles’ ‘Moby Dick’
Art in Balboa Park, ‘Hate’ update in Fullerton, Redd Foxx back on CD http://exm.nr/PMi64p
The ultimate Carol Burnett DVD set, overdue bio of comedian Ed Wynn http://exm.nr/NQ3DQq
Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/#!/jyoung50
Visit my Amazon Author Page.
Like a heads up when I post a new article? Just click where it says “Subscribe to get instant updates” at the top. (Not getting the emails? Keep in mind I post about 2-3 times a week). You can also share this article with your facebook/twitter friends by clicking the appropriate buttons above.