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High Infidelity

Reviewed by Michael Lazan

Presented by Jennifer Smith Rockwood at The Promenade Theatre, 2162 Broadway, NYC. Opened Aug. 3 and closed Sept. 3.

If you expect very modest entertainment from John Dooley's good-natured new political comedy about a familiar sounding couple in the throes of infidelity, you might have a pleasant enough experience. If you expect political comedies to have a Shavian edge or even distinctive characters, go elsewhere.

The couple consists of a handsome, excessively tan-looking man with big hair and wandering eyes, and a woman who is a brainy bottle blond. Remind you of anyone? They go to an unconventional therapist to save their marriage since Charles, a Senator running for President, feels a stable marriage to his wife, Ellen, is helpful politically. Then the therapist, Dr. Finger (really), and his assistant, Jane, try to get the couple to talk honestly through a number of strange techniques, including one in which Charles is allowed to touch Jane in the presence of Ellen.

A brilliant or credible idea this is certainly not, and the setup is not funny enough to make this particularly comedic, but the piece does gather some momentum when the second act arrives, as augmented by a subplot with Dr. Finger quietly hankering for Jane. Eventually, as Charles confesses his sins, Dooley hammers home the point of honesty in relationships and everyone goes home happy, though we do not exactly get to the bottom of these characters or this situation.

The main performers are the television personalities John Davidson and Morgan Fairchild, and they are more comfortable than you might expect, though Davidson mugs and pushes some of his lines, and Fairchild gets lost on stage at points. They do look perfect for the roles though, and Davidson impresses with a strong, authoritative voice and presence. He sure looks like a Senator. Other performers are also are worth a vote, especially Jennifer Roszell, lovely and vibrant as Jane, and Daniel Ziskie, energetic as the Senator's security guard.

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