In Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw used the science of phonetics and the politics of class as the hooks on which he hung an unorthodox love story. In Jerry Sterner's superb play Other People's Money, the issues are Wall Street financial strategies and the social dynamics of Reaganomics; but the emotional core of the play is again the mercurial romance between a young woman and the older man who shows her-despite her own resistance--her true nature and potential. Carmen Roman, who stepped into the play's female lead last fall, has considerably raised the temperature of this production over the past several months; as banking lawyer Kate Sullivan, Roman brings a sexual and intellectual crackle to her character that in turn has coaxed a performance of more compelling intensity from Peter Van Wagner as Larry Garfinkle, the ruthless corporate raider who is Kate's antagonist, mentor, and suitor. As Other People's Money heads toward the end of its 11-month run, the sparks that fly between Roman and Van Wagner make the play a vital and bracing romantic comedy as well as a pungent examination of the morality of an economically irresponsible era. Royal George Theatre Center, through January 27. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 8 PM; Wednesdays, 2 and 8 PM; Saturdays, 6 and 9:30 PM; Sundays, 3 PM. $22.50-$31.50.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/David Sutton.