"Featuring Loretta," about a woman stranded in Las Vegas and the creepy men who claim they love her, is a terrifically funny and lecherous ensemble comedy.
By JOSHUA TANZER
"Things are starting to happen here," Loretta is insisting to her mom by phone from Las Vegas. "There's a guy in Japan who wants me to do some modeling. . . . No, it's not white slavery. It's modeling."
How the fetching Loretta (Carolyn DeMerice) arrived in this hotel room and in this predicament is a story that will unfold piece by piece in the sexy and ceaselessly funny "Featuring Loretta." We learn, among other things, that her no-good husband Tommy met an early end at the paws of a bear. "He fucked around on me from almost the first day I met him," she explains. "And then he went out with the wildlife and got eaten!"
|Written by: George F. Walker.|
Directed by: Robert Francis Perillo.
Cast: Carolyn DeMerice, Maureen Megibow, John Bogar, Tom Oppenheim.
Enter two new suitors: Dave (John Bogar), a geeky salesman all too desperate for her affection, and Mike (Tom Oppenheim), a smooth-talking porn king all too desperate to ship her off to be a stripper in Tokyo or worse, depending what he can think of that's worse.
Playwright George F. Walker has created a play that's breezy enough to be fun from beginning to end while touching lightly on some serious issues about women, men, sexual exploitation and inner strength. Sometimes we laugh at the characters' little self-delusions, and sometimes we laugh at their snappy, rapid-fire way of talking like when Mike is dying to say something raunchy to seduce Loretta but doesn't want to drive her away:
"You look like the kind of a girl I can tell this kind of a thing to. Are you?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"I think you are."
Many of the best lines, actually, go to Maureen Megibow as Sophie, the Russian-born maid who's the brow-beaten daughter of the immigrant motel owner. Like any good comic-relief character, she's mainly there to give us a pause in the main plot, but she's the character who makes the whole story work, wrily cutting through the other characters' puffery. Megibow, who is in fact a recent arrival from the Moscow Art Theater, does a great job with her part. And it's just one part of a small but perfectly written and performed ensemble comedy that's an absolute pleasure to watch.
|JULY 20, 2001|
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