By Joan Alperin-Schwartz
We all go to the theatre expecting to be entertained. Unfortunately, that's not always the outcome and for me, there is nothing worse than sitting through a bad play. I find it absolutely agonizing, although I have heard that a root canal comes pretty close.
Having said all that, I am thrilled to report that 'The Way You Look Tonight', written by Peter Lefcourt, is one of my favorite comedies of 2014. Okay, I know the year is still young, but this play is absolutely wonderful on every level.
Funny, touching, quirky, surprising, romantic and thanks to an incredible cast, a play you do not want to miss.
'The Way You Look Tonight' is the story of an ex husband and his ex wife, the ex-wife and her present husband, the ex-husband and his new live-in-lover, infidelity, sex, cross dressing, lust, a french bistro, and...shoes. Not exactly in that order.
When the play opens, we meet Esme (Robin Riker) and her husband, Bernard (John Marzilli) a reality TV producer. They are getting ready to go out to dinner with Esme's estranged, gynecologist, ex-husband, Teddy (Robb Derringer) whom she hasn't spoken to in over four years.
To say Esme isn't looking forward to this meeting, is an understatement. She's only agreed to meet with him, because of their son. He's graduating from college and wants both his parents at the ceremony.
Adding to the tension, is Teddy's announcement that, he's bringing his new live in lover, Robyn (Sean Smith) to the dinner. Esme can't help but obsessed over the girlfriend's looks. She imagines her to be gorgeous, sexy and young.
Wow, is Esme in for a surprise. To say anymore, would spoil the fun. And that's exactly what this play is...fun...great fun..
The cast, including the excellent, Blake Silver as Ishmael, who acts as our narrator, furniture mover, Greek chorus and french waiter,. are all wonderful. But the two stand-outs are Robin Riker and Sean Smith.
Robin, who has starred in too many sit-comes and plays to mention, has perfect comic timing, while at the same time, brings to Esme. a lovely vulnerability and an almost child-like innocence, when the situation calls for it.
One of my favorite scenes takes place in a shoe store, where Esme runs into Robyn by accident and the two of them, with help from a pair of Fleuvogs (yes I didn't know what they were either)create absolute magic.
'The Way You Look Tonight' is a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre and I promise, this will be one of your favorite theatre experience as well.
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90025
Fridays at 8 p.m: July 25; August 1, 8, 15, 22
Saturdays at 8 p.m...July 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23
Sundays at 3 p.m...July 27; August 3, 10, 17, 24
325-960-7712 or www.plays411.com/tonight
Fridays and Sundays:$25