note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
It wasn't the men in her life, Mae West used to quip, it was the LIFE in her men! She would have loved the Claudia Shear play currently at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. It's full of quirky life --- not to mention some fabulous MEN! "Dirty Blonde" is an oddball love story about two fans of the legendary movie star who meet at West's mausoleum --- and discover they share quite an obsession.
The set-up in Act I is a bit slow (Can't you just hear Mae saying she Liked it slow?) but Act II reaps substantial rewards for the wait. Spiro Veloudos directs right to the heart...and Larry Coen delivers one of the show's remarkable MOMENTS when, with an economy of words and gesture, he demonstrates the heartbreak of a man who thinks he's been rejected. Coen is no slouch when it comes to the large gesture, either, whether it's his ecstasy over the thought of "madras" or executing Ilyse Robbins' sensational beefcake choreography.
Veloudos gets bravura performances from Maryann Zschau as both the magnificent Mae and her present day fasn, as well as from Will McGarrahan playing a mean honkytonk piano and playing a whole supermarket-full of characters, like a crusty, cigar-chomping ex-husbanmd or a macho muscle-man.
Gail Astrid Buckley delivers the quintessential COSTUME right on schedule, in nits gorgeous, pink, sequinned pulchritude --- and wait till you see who wears it besides the curvy Zschau! Be warned --- "Dirty Blonde" is naughty, a little dirty, and wildly hilarious.
Why don't you go up and see it some time.