Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fringe: Platinum

In 1978, Platinum, starring Alexis Smith, ran for a total of 45 performances. Reworked, the new version at the Fringe has five characters (down from 13) and some catchy songs, but the book is less than compelling. It's the 1970s and 40's movie star Lila is trying to make a comeback as a singer. Her recording engineer, who wants to be a songwriter, considers her hopelessly out of date. She needs many takes, for no particular reason. She gets angry and then does a good take. She meets a sexy almost-has-been rocker, and his girlfriend (or good friend?) steals her song (and makes a huge hit out of it). Lila gets involved with the rocker, who loves her old movies. It may be true love, or they may be using each other. Or both. The owner of the recording studio is a bad guy. Lila sells out the rocker but then changes her mind for no dramatized or sung reason. This description actually sounds more interesting than the show on stage, which manages to feel both wispy and heavy-handed. The 90 or so minutes pass pleasantly enough, mostly due to Donna Bullock's likeability as Lila, but Platinum is not a lost wonder waiting to be rediscovered.

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