MARCH 21. 1986 /MONTROSE VOICE 19
Risky Business Undergoes Changes
'Isn't It Romantic' Is a Comfortable Production
has a beautiful voice, too. Carlos Compean
plays the trumpet.
One change, however, must be changed
back. This, traditionally the most upbeat
on Houston of all our theaters, has
deserted its boosterism. There is even one
hateful line which as much as says that
it's too bad this show isn't in NYC, but it
will do til the character can land one that
is. Boo! Wretch! We are not a colony. We
What a wonderful idea! At 10:00 tomorrow
morning, the Lighthouse of Houston is
sponsoring an Easter egg hunt for blind
and visually impaired children. The eggs
There'll be another "egg hunt"—
actually an orange hunt—at The Orange
Show on Easter. Drop by the Orange Show
or call 552-2767 to get a maze. Free admission to all children that solve it. ...
Candace Compton, as Janie Blumburg, and Harry Brewer, as Simon Blum burg
in Stages' "Isn't It Romantic"
By Bill O'Rourke
Montrose Voice Theater Critic
Most of the other critics weren't very kind
to Stages' Isn 't It Romantic. By the time I
got it in mid-run last Thursday, it was a
very enjoyable show.
It's a little uneven. Playwright Wendy
Wasserstein's characters often have quite
a few things they wish to say without
being answered. So they save them up for
their exit and blurt them all out, turn on
their heels and flee. Howard P. French is
woefully miscast but does his best. Donna
Whitmore is very good but is shaping the
role to herself rather than vice versa.
And that is the sum and total of all the
caviling I want to do with this show.The
rest ofthe show is like a comfortable easy
chair—so warm to settle into.
Janie Blumburg is a teddy bear who
might remind you of television's Rhoda
Morgenstern or her kid sister. Candace
Compton, in this role, has no sharp edges.
They're all padded. That makes her a treat
to be with, but people don't understand
when they trespass over her boundaries.
She'd like to marry a rich, young doctor.
Who wouldn't? Along comes another
teddy bear who is a rich, young doctor and
who wants to marry her. But can he accept
her need for self-respect in the form of a job
as a freelance writer for Sesame Street?
Freeman Williams really connects with
Janie's lost her Jewish accent. So has
her mother. Tasha (Jean Proctor) studies
"dance." Her daughter chides her about
her clothing. Jean, as usual, is very real,
but she still pushes her flamboyance a little past the organic at times in her comedy.
Still, her love for her daughter shines
through her every impertinence.
Harry Brewer, one of the front runners
in my mind for best actor of the year, does
nut disappoint as the father. He fades into
the woodwork because the character
would, but you never lose sight of him.
He'd be an island of sanity in this wacky
world, except that he brings a cab driver
who can hardly speak English home to
propose to bis daughter. (Mark Mitchell is
very funny in this cameo role.)
Tanya Luiutroth, as another mother—a
brittle career cactus blooming late in life,
n A Lifeline
heim, Werner (Klink) Klemperer, Karl
(Where's my traveler's checks?) Maulding,
William (Beam me up, Scotty!) Shatner
and gay playwright Robert Chesley. 23—
J.C. Leyendecker (whose drawing of his
lover, Charles Beach, became the Arrow
Collar Man). 26—Tennessee Williams.
"Ever since I had that interview in
which I said I was bisexual, it seems twice
as many people wave at me in the
streets."—Elton John (born March 25).
The Birds (Ensemble, 21)—Rollicking
comedy about the weaknesses of men and
Count Ory (Jones, 21)—1 know I said I'd
review this madcap farce about a band of
men who dress up like nuns to get at some
beautiful women, but it's only going to be
on for one weekend! By the way, when the
is simply phenomenal.
Yes, this is a late, but very welcome,
entry in the Year of the Strong Women
Defining Their Roles which seemed to
peak last December.
Only two weeks left on this baby, so
grab it fast.
A Lifeline (Risky Business) is a very exciting show. It is delightful.
It is their new model. It is purposefully
not as off-the-wall as their past shows. It is
not as tightly packed, either. They seem to
do fewer songs than they used to. It is more
deliberate, a little less spontaneous.
These changes are partly due to marketing strategy. They want to be more middle-
of-the-road so as to appeal to a larger
It's also due to a key change in personnel. There was an in-joke when Randy
Jobe went over to the musical director sitting behind the piano and demanded to
know where art was. He meant art as in
artistic, hut, punningly, he was also pointing out that Art Yelton isn't there any
more. He's at the Alley. Michael Jones is
the R.B. musical director now and the
changes suit his personality.
With Art gone. Randy is gaining even
more of an upper hand, too. His kind of
humor deals in excesses. Because of that,
he is particularly vulnerable to a weak or
over-trusting directors marring his final
effect by indulging him too much. Andrea
Modisette needs to stand up more to him
for both of their sakes. In his Nell Carter
routine, he left out the hyphen she always
puts into Honey-suckle Rose. Oh, well.
Marsha Carlton can play an audience
like nobody's business. She is a fountain
of pure delight. In this show, she also does
a serious song with such conviction that
her tears take her mascara down onto the
neck. It was very dang good, but I still
prefer the bubbling, vivacious side of her
personality, which she gives full play in
the second act.
Gary Powell is a handsome, very talented man. He needs to have the moxieto
realize that. Right now he spends just a
tadge too much energy on being cute.
Thank goodness one thing has not
changed. They still find absolutely gorgeous men to fill the chorus. Eric Carville
Jean Proctor stars as Sister Mary Ignatius in "Sister Mary Ignatti
It All for You" opening at Stages' tonight. March 21
Houston playwright Christopher
Woods' "ecclesiastical comedy" Will I Go
to Hell for This? is being given a staged
reading March 25 at the Playwright's On
ter of San Francisco. ...
Terry Helbing, artistic director of the
Meridian Gay Theater Company (in NYC),
has announced the winners of its 1985
Sixth Annual Jane Chambers Memorial
International Gay Playwrighting Contest. Also, the New York State Council on
the Arts and the NYC Deparement of Cultural AffairB has given that theater
$12,000 in grants. ...
B-days: 21—John Paul Hudson, James
Coco, Richard Kiley. 22—Stephen Sond
Count finally gets to the Countess, his
page (a boy being played by a girl) has
beaten him there. In the dark, the two men
start making out feverishly with each
other instead—by accident, of course.
HSPVA Spring Jazz Festival (Denny,
21)—with guest star Billy Harper, saxophone. ONO!
Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for
You (Stages, 21)—revival of the hit
comedy about ignorance masking as
authority. Co-sponsored by the Montrose
One (Channing Hall, First Unitarian,
27)—The Group brings Kent Johnson
back as a person with AIDS. Benefit for
Aid for AIDS.