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Suitehearts

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SUITEHEARTS, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park. The premise alone should be a warning: two couples--one painfully shy, the other loud and pushy--are given the same honeymoon suite, with no hope of moving to a different room. Maybe--maybe--a good writer could spin this setup into a half-hour episode of Three's Company. But William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore (best known, if they're known at all, for their often-panned comedy Love, Sex, and the IRS) have two hours to fill and absolutely nothing to say. A fact they prove again and again with their reliance on age-old cliches of farce, like the nervous newlywed who locks herself in the bathroom. But their original material also seems old, dependent as it is on snickering attitudes toward sex that were going out of fashion when Love American Style aired. Even if Clinterngate and the accompanying media storm hadn't recently turned compulsive adultery, oral sex, and the shape of the president's penis into everyday topics of conversation, this script--which asks us to giggle at the mere mention of Alex Comfort's More Joy of Sex--would have seemed naive.

Director David Mink doesn't have a clue how to mine what little comedy there is in Suitehearts. Instead he makes a fine cast look bad by filling the show with lots of frantic movement and loud, over-the-top performances. Even the usually great Paula Scrofano, playing a brassy blue-collar dame, turns in the kind of noisy, obvious performance more often found in community theater. --Jack Helbig

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