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LA Theater Review

The Concept of Remainders

Even since before Noah, there has been a common social pattern of dividing animals and humans into pairs. In Richard Martin Hirsch's play, Mac (a solid Dan Gilvezan) and Mary (a lovely Suzanne Ford) have been married 15 years and, at least in their dreams, are interested in expanding their relationship. When reality hits, they find themselves suddenly uncoupled, and the concept of remainders applies as they frantically search for someone, or something, to complete their lives. Complicating the issue are their best friends, Elliot (a fascinating Bradley Fisher) and Sophie (the bewitching Meredith Bishop). Elliot is a twice-married, addicted lunatic, and Sophie is his sex kitten of a trophy wife. A loosey-goosey, long-legged bar waitress, Faith (a down-to-earth Salli Saffioti), is thrown in for good measure; her job is to equal up any stray remainders in the parking lot.

When Mary gives Mac an unusual birthday present, he reciprocates by giving her the same: 10 days of total sexual freedom, with no repercussions. From a credible starting point, the plot takes off in several directions, neither resolving nor developing the initial premise but opening up a Pandora's box of minithemes that, while colorful and lively, nevertheless sidestep the original.

Hirsch's script is light-hearted and very verbal, but it has structural problems that may be ironed out but tend to confuse when Act 2 begins exactly like Act 1. But everyone is having a good time -- dope and booze figure heavily -- which limits the credibility of several very serious plot points, which are set aside in exchange for the laugh meter's approval. This slightly hyped-up sitcom is well-dressed and upscale, providing well-measured, if slightly glib, dialogue for a quintet of pretty people who deliver it well. Mark L. Taylor directs the physical action with fast-paced good humor, on Keith Mitchell's practical and clean-lined set.

Presented by the Production Company at the Chandler Studio Theatre Center,

12443 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood.

Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Apr. 11-May 17.

(800) 838-3006.

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