Funny Valentines | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Funny Valentines



Funny Valentines, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park. D.R. Anderson's comedy premiered in 1981, but it might as well have been 1951. Featured are an infantile male, Andy Robbins; his nurturing ex-wife (about to give birth to the baby they conceived just before divorcing); a helpful family friend; a scantily clad nympho; and a clueless mother-in-law. Andy, a successful author of children's books, must deal with a proffered television contract, impulsive bursts of lust, much strong drink (the expectant mommy gets only milk, of course), and his own hastily concocted subterfuges.

David Mink directs a cast mostly made up of veteran farceurs--Dale Benson, Caitlin Hart, Jack Hickey, and Rebecca Covey. Unfortunately Julie Ganey's performance as the magna mater seems a bit insipid compared with their richly seasoned portrayals.

It's easy to jeer at plays whose only goal is to reassure us that the Noah's Ark Imperative will triumph over irresponsibility and ambivalence, but there's no denying their enduring popularity even in a society of single parents and starter marriages. Funny Valentines may champion family values, but it does so with none of the overzealous thuggishness often associated with the term.

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