Monday, August 20, 2007
Kiss And Make Up
The theatre is such a rich place to set a farce. In this one, an often zippy but ultimately uneven musical which takes place at a nerve-rattled community theatre, a variety of mishaps force the leading man to also play the leading lady on (of course) opening night, while his co-stars scramble about either to assist or to sabotage him. The show takes too long to get going - the first act is slow setting things up, and too many of the musical numbers throughout bring the action dangerously to a standstill when what's essential for farce is monentum - but once we're in the show-within-the-show (which, shrewdly, is also a farce) the book is often clever and lively. The show's biggest problem, besides that three times as many moments are musicalized than need be, is a persistent one with farce and concerns the specific brand of exaggerated performance style that it asks of an actor. Frankly, you either got it or you ain't. Only half of this ensemble has got it.