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‘Reunion’ debuts at South Coast Rep, ‘Cosby Show,’ ‘Coexist Comedy Tour' on DVD

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Let’s face it, South Coast Repertory’s 50th season hasn’t been its best. The good news about “Reunion” by Gregory S. Moss (in its world premiere at SCR through Mar. 30) is that it offers a trio of richly-detailed performances. Unfortunately, this seriocomic piece about three guys getting together to talk about old times is largely superficial; it’s hard to care much about any of the characters and by the time the play starts to dig below the surface it’s really too late to give a damn.

“Reunion” gets off to an entertaining start as Max (Michael Gladis) and Peter (Kevin Berntson) dish on girls they remember, but it plays like an entertaining sketch until Mitch (Tim Cummings) shows up; then it seems like almost anything can happen. Things get pretty wild to be sure, but ultimately go nowhere until late in the game. All three actors are superb under Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s razor-sharp direction, particularly Cummings; too bad their efforts are not in the service of a better play. Call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“The Coexist Comedy Tour” (available on DVD from Horizon Movies, distributed by Kino Lorber) is an offbeat concert film/documentary by Larry Brand that will be appreciated by those who enjoy standup. The cast is comprised of a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian and an Atheist, performing somewhat edgy material about religion. The Muslim comic (Tissa Hami, the only woman in the group) is arguably the funniest; the Jewish comedian (Moshe Kasher) prides himself on not doing Borscht Belt shtick, but he’s woefully unamusing.
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Hard to believe it's been nearly 30 years since “The Cosby Show” debuted in the fall of 1984. If the popular sitcom about a Brooklyn-based African American family headed by a doctor (Bill Cosby) and an attorney (Phylicia Rashad) was groundbreaking for its era, its consistently high quality is only emphasized by the decline in the medium in the decades since. Seasons 1 & 2 are newly available in a 4-disc combo pack (from Mill Creek Entertainment) that runs some 20 hours.

If your preference runs toward Britcoms, you might want to check out “Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Collection” (on DVD next week from Acorn Media). Prunella Scales (“Fawlty Towers”), Geraldine McEwan and Nigel Hawthorne star in this quirky social satire based on the work of E.F. Benson, set in the 1930s in the fictitious village of Tilling-on-Sea.

More from Jordan:

Scharoun Ensemble at Irvine Barclay, Beethoven at Bowers, Celtic Woman at SCFTA
http://www.examiner.com/article/scharoun-ensemble-at-irvine-barclay-beet...

Ford's ‘Rising of the Moon,’ Agatha Christie Hr on DVD, Ria Mooney bio in paper
http://www.examiner.com/article/ford-s-rising-of-the-moon-agatha-christi...

Celebrating the 60th birthday of John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man’
http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrating-the-60th-birthday-of-john-fo...

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