Pat Launer, Center Stage on KSDS JAZZ88
September 5, 2014
Maybe you’ve seen the movie “A Day Without a Mexican.” Well, here’s a play that gives us A Day Without a Gay. You could subtitle Paul Rudnick’s “Regrets Only” Gaymageddon . Just think of it: What couldn’t you do if everyone of the homosexual persuasion suddenly disappeared from your life? Hip haircut? Fuggedaboudit . Major in Women’s Studies? No way, Josefina.
This is only a small part of Rudnick’s laugh-line-a-minute 2006 comedy, but it’s probably the most memorable part.
What we have here is wealthy New Yorkers of the Noël Coward school: quippy, superficial, appearance -obsessed and, in the case of socialite Tibby McCullough’’s husband and daughter, decidedly right-leaning.
Tibby’s best friend is Hank Hadley, a fabulous, famous gay fashion designer. Her mother has married five gay men. But her husband has been tapped by the President (that would be George W) to work on a Constitutional amendment presenting an “iron-clad definition of legal marriage” as between a man and a woman. Jack McCullough drags his whiney, over-privileged lawyer-daughter along for the ride. Meanwhile, she announces that she’s just gotten engaged, which unleashes wide-ranging tirades on marriage, friendship, equality and fidelity.
Diversionary Theatre has snagged the San Diego premiere of this contemporary drawing room comedy. Under Jessica John’s direction, the pace is lively and the cast is meringue-light and endlessly amusing, chicly attired in Alina Bokovikova’s stunning frocks, while they frolic in Matt Scott’s upscale set.
Andrew Oswald’s Hank is an impeccable mix of smart, sassy and sarcastic. Kerry McCue is tasty as Tibby , and Dagmar Fields is a hoot as her wacky mother. Teri Brown tears up the place as the world’s most intrusive Jewish maid, who assumes foreign accents for fun. Charles Maze and Rachael Van Wormer tend to the shrill as the lawyerly father and daughter.
Rudnick is one of the cheekiest, wittiest writers around. Have a laugh, and maybe you’ll have a think. Send no regrets; just show up at this soirée.
“Regrets Only” continues through September 21 at the Diversionary Theatre in University Heights.
©2014 PAT LAUNER