Luv, Luv, Luv
A "comedy sketch with attitude" in an intimatesetting.
Thursday, September 16, 1999
The three-decade-old script by Murray Schisgal has been updated, but still lacks the punch it probably had when performed fresh and new. Today it seems not so much "a spoof of the avant-garde" (as the show''s notes suggested) as a comedy sketch with attitude. Even so, it provides a pleasant repast for the evening.
Luv spoofs what each of us face: the need for love, to experience acceptance and rejection, and deal with the illusion of greener pastures in the arms of another.
Harry (Robert Basgall) believes suicide will relieve him of his confused and wasted life. His friend Milt (Jerry Pearman) stops him from jumping from a bridge only to reveal his own sad tale of personal woe. Milt wants to divorce his wife Ellen (Michele Savage) and take up with another. But Ellen isn''t keen on divorce. So Milt thinks, ''Say! Why not bring Harry and Ellen together?'' He does it. They do. And the show is off and running.
The chemistry between the three actors was apparent. They semed to genuinely appreciate one another and enjoyed the staged repartee. Verbal bits and barbs were quick-witted and smoothly delivered.
Basgall played Harry with a believable air of obliviousness, a man at the end of his long and confused rope. He seemed very comfortable with the slapstick and verbal shots the cast tossed about, especially during the "one-downmanship" confrontation where each exposed how horrible their childhoods were.
Pearman, the scheming Milt, appeared fresh and lively, with a fetish for foraging in the trash. Relatively new to the stage, his performance at the SRO should not be his last. He was delightful.
Savage was an "intelligent Lucille Ball" on stage. From line delivery to facial expression, Savage claimed the stage as her territory. All three allowed the audience to sit back and relax and enjoy a little bit of nonsense. The stage was minimalist but done right. The lighting was effective and the props and visual humor equal to the task.
At Monterey Peninsula College''s SRO Studio Theater, 646-4213.
Feet of Clay Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. Comedic Drama. This short play by Rebecca Gorman is the first-place winner in this year''s Festival of Firsts national playwriting competition. It''s the story of a young woman artist who goes through a series of encounters before reclaiming her artistic integrity. Sunset Center, San Carlos Street at 8th Avenue, Carmel. $5/General. 624-3996. Through: 9/26.
The Front Page Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. Comedy. Written in the 1920s, this fast-paced Hecht/MacArthur comedy is set inside a Chicago newsroom back in the days when Al Capone ruled the streets. A conniving editor uses every trick in the book to get his star reporter to cover just one more story. The Studio Theater at Western Stage, Hartnell College, 156 Homestead Ave., Salinas. $15/General; $10/Children; $13/Seniors. 755-6816. Through: 10/23.
Fortinbras Thursday, 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2pm. Dramatic Comedy. It''s best if you know Hamlet, but even if you don''t, the strong writing (by Lee Blessing), wonderful staging and uniformly excellent performances of this clever take-off of the original Shakespeare tragedy will have you in stitches. John Farmanesh-Bocca is a delight as Fortinbras, the central figure in a "what-if" comedy that pokes fun mercilessly at the tale of the Depressed Dane. Thurs.-Fri. ticket prices $18/General, $10/Students & seniors; Saturday prices $20/General, $12/Students & seniors. Circle Theater at the Golden Bough, Monteverde Street at 8th Avenue, Carmel. Through: 10/16.
Hot-L Baltimore Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 7pm. Comedy. Unicorn Theater presents Lanford WIlson''s story of New York City''s Hotel Baltimore, in its time one of the great city hotels, now fallen into disrepair and disrepute. Directed by Derek Niegemann. Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman St., Monterey. $15/General; $12/Seniors. 649-0259. Through: 9/26.
Luv Thursday and Sunday, 7pm; Friday and Saturday, 8pm. Comedy. (Reviewed in this issue.) SRO Studio Theater at Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. $7/All tickets. 646-4213. Through: 9/26.
Merry Wives of Windsor Friday-Sunday, 7:30pm. Comedy. The hard-drinking, womanizing Sir John Falstaff is back, trying to woo two local matrons to his bed--but they have other ideas, in this rollicking Shakespeare comedy, brought to life by the Pacific Repertory Company. Saturday prices: $20/General, $12/Students & seniors; other days, $18/General, $10/Students & seniors. Golden Bough Theater, Monteverde Street at 8th Avenue, Carmel. 622-0100. Through: 10/17.
Mizlansky/Zilinsky or "Schmucks" Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 5pm. Comedy. (Reviewed in this issue.) Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Guadalupe Street and 4th Avenue, Carmel. $14/General; $12/Seniors. 646-9478. Through: 10/3.
The Road to Frisco Friday & Saturday, 8pm. Melodrama. This 19th-century melodrama set in the Old West follows the tale of a purloined map of the Golden Dream mine, which is lifted from its rightful owner, our young heroine. California''s First Theatre, Scott and Pacific streets, Monterey. $10/General; $5/Children; $8/Seniors. 375-4916. Through: 10/2.
The Sound of Music Thursday-Sunday, 8pm. Musical. OK, so "America''s favorite musical" is put on 500 times a year in this country, but Pac Rep''s production at the Outdoor Forest Theater really sings. Maria''s great, the kids are great, the nuns are great, the entire show is tip-top entertainment. Outdoor Forest Theater, Carmel. $15/General; $10/Children. 622-0700. Through: 9/26.
Carmel Performing Arts Festival Tickets are now on sale for the third annual festival, opening Oct. 1 for three weekends of music, dance, theater, poetry and other events at various Carmel venues. Tickets range from $5-$40 for individual events, to $120 for a full festival pass. Call 624-7676, or visit www.carmelfest.org.
Festival of First Readings
Second- and third-place winners in this year''s Festival of First playwriting competition will receive staged readings at Carmel''s Sunset Center. Erdemovic, by Kitty Felde, is about a soldier on trial for
war crimes in the Balkans; Tuesday, 7pm. Amber Waves, by Steve Packard, sets Chekhov''s The Cherry Orchard in the American Midwest; Wednesday, 7pm. San Carlos Street at 8th Avenue, Carmel. Free. 624-3996.