Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Perfect Days"

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"Perfect Days"

by Liz Lochhead
Directed by Carmel O'Reilly

Set Design by J. Michael Griggst
Lighting Design by John R. Malinowski
Costume Design by Julie Heneghan
Sound Design by Katrina Owen
Stage Manager Maureen Lane

Babs Marshall........Linda Carmichael
Alice Inglis...............Geralyn Horton
Sadie Kirkwood.......Patricia Pellows
Brendan Boyle............Billy Meleady
David Marshall...........Derek Nelson
Grant Steel.............Ciaran Crawford

"Perfect Days" is Funny! Scots brogues lend a Celtic lilt to the attempts of Barbs Marshall (Linda Carmichael) --- a long-separated, successful, independent half-owner of a beauty-shop --- to get herself pregnant on her 39th birthday. She "has everything" including doing a weekly make-over show on local television but wants, not a marriage, not a relationship, not a man, just a baby. That's not a hard situation to relate to, is it?

So, the days are those carefully determined points of maximum ovulation during which the deed is attempted, or talked about at long graphic length by Barb to her bubbly friend Alice (Geralyn Horton) and her retired but nudging mum (Patricia Pellows).

But the men she has to choose from are an odd lot. Derek Nelson plays her still friendly husband, who admits to having found a new fiancée and, well, and knocked her up to boot. (And if ye bridle at as minor an euphemism as that ye're not likely to be Scots enough for this very with-it play, nor for Robbie Burns neither!) She takes the offer of her comfortably gay barber of a filled turkey-baster once a week. And then there's Alice's long lost first illegitimate child (Ciaran Crawford), who at twenty-three could be Barbs's child.

The entire play is very honest, very human, and screamingly funny in the bargain. And, yes, there Is a happy ending, and the cause of it I assure everyone is indeed "a gun hanging throughout the play over the mantel, just waiting to go off" in a Chekhovian though hilarious way.

The one important thing about the evening, though, could be the ease and naturalness with which this cast works. I have seen few, but this is Geralyn Horton's second-best performance so far, and that is high praise indeed. There is repartee, schtick, ribald farce, stereotyping, bellylaughs and seriously faced modern situations cheek-by-jowl here, and this sextet enjoys it all.


"Perfect Days" (till 18 March)
Sugan Theatre Company
Boston Center for The Arts, Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617) 426-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide