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LA Theater Review

Second Thoughts

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Treasures are sometimes found in the most unlikely of places. Case in point: a little musical revue with a big heart and a lot of style and class, being performed in a small makeshift theatre. The evening is made up of about two dozen songs, mostly introduced by short, either funny or poignant scenarios. The scripted part of the show isn't just filler; it usually has something to say. The songs are a delight, with pleasant melodies or toe-tapping rhythms and lyrics that are hilarious, clever, touching, or just plain smart. Taking a bow for all the words and music-and direction-is Tony Tanner. He also joins the winning cast-Angela DeCicco, Lloyd Pedersen, and Bobbi Stamm-onstage in "some songs and skits that chart the fun involved in being 21 no more."

The subject matter dealt with, or lampooned, includes the comical loss of memory; plastic surgery; computer-dating or "the long distance hump;" trophy spouses; grown kids either too far away as in the Peace Corps or too close as in next door; and a woman's first purchase of a boy toy, as in "I helped my hustler get through school."

Anything lacking in vocal quality is more than made up for with showmanship. Music director David Kole on the piano and Vera Budinoff on the violin are a major plus, as are Paula Higgins' very appropriate costumes for every number. Other design elements live up to the company's name, Bare Bones Theatre, in its inadequate lighting equipment; sparse stage set of a table, two chairs, an armchair and footstool; and a backdrop of large, blank, folding gray wall units. But these elements center attention on this charmingly old-fashioned musical revue.

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