DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE, Footsteps Theatre Company. In the sisterly spirit of Beth Henley and Wendy Wasserstein, Footsteps Theatre's coartistic director Jean Adamak has penned and staged a convincing portrait of four friends who work together making greeting cards, women so lifelike they could have stepped from the seats to the stage.
Beset with a midlife crisis at 36, Claire Wellis is the beleaguered proprietor, striving to forestall foreclosure and avoid Mr. Wrong. Her lesbian roommate, Jesse, wants to resume an affair with Cassie, a bisexual artist who can't say no to Dexter, an ex-con druggie. Providing comic relief (and a possible cry for help) is Rebecca--Dixie virgin, New Age believer with an imaginary friend named Wilma, and self-accused jinx (morbid tragedies do follow her around like strays). But she's got spunk and gives unexpectedly good advice. And Adamak's survivors refuse to give up on love or each other: constantly looking for "the big picture," they try to ensure they're all included.
Adamak gets her picture right, though she hasn't found a clean ending for the play. She's found the right cast, however: Michele DiMaso is a stitch as the chirpy/ creepy Rebecca, and Kara Pasierb is engagingly earnest as the hopeful Jesse. Add Justine Serino's down-to-earth Claire, Kim Wade's fiery Cassie, and Brad Harbaugh's cocky Dexter, and you've got five folks worth seeing.