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Theater review: ‘Ten Cent Night’ at Victory Theatre

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Marisa Wegrzyn’s regional comedy, “Ten Cent Night,” now in its West Coast premiere at the Victory Theatre, is as cute and as fun to watch as a speckled pup.

Too bad it won’t stay on the paper. Wegrzyn’s delightful but messy romp gambols over much, venturing into circular scenes that do little to facilitate the forward momentum of the plot. But with a harsh correction or two, “Night” might yet make the show circuit.

Set primarily in Texas in the early 1970s, the plot concerns two sets of fraternal twins whose father, a recent suicide, was a hard-drinking musician made famous by his boozy bar song, “Ten Cent Night.”

Roby (splendidly sultry Tara Buck), herself a boozy musician, and Dee (Caitlin Muelder), a prickly virgin, are one set of twins, at bitter odds since the cradle. Much more congenial, alarmingly so, are twins Sadie (Alison Rood), a sweet 16-year-old with a bum heart, and her offbeat brother Holt (Shane Zwiner), her too-significant other. When Roby steals a bundle from her mute admirer, Danny (Martin Papazian), Danny’s bad ol’ boy loan-shark boss, Roscoe (Gareth Williams), comes after his missing money. Rounding out the story is Texas belle Lila (Kathleen Bailey), a ladylike whore who has, of course, a heart of gold.

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A real actor’s director, Maria Gobetti extracts Olympian performances from her uniformly terrific actors, who plunge into their material like it’s a cool swimming hole on a hot summer’s day. They make every scene count, even those that don’t.

-- F. Kathleen Foley

“Ten Cent Night,” Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 28. $22-$34. (818) 841-5421. Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes.


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