STAGE REVIEW : Chambers’ ‘Heaven’ at Celebration
Underneath the lesbian politics of the plays by the late Jane Chambers (“Last Summer at Bluefish Cove”) lies the heart of a TV writer. It’s no accident that the theme song for “Green Acres” runs during the intermission of Chambers’ comedy, “My Blue Heaven,” at the Celebration Theatre. Molly (Janet Aspers) is the city woman stuck on the farm--the Eva Gabor character. Josie (Denise McCanles)--the Eddie Albert character--loves life among the chickens and goats.
They’re gay urbanites in flight, and Molly is writing a homesteading column for a farm journal about their adventures. Of course, she’s fictionalizing it a little: In the column, Josie is her big, strapping husband, Joe.
This leads to an utterly unlikely encounter with a Christian publishing firm. But, in fact, it leads nowhere (we won’t reveal why), imposing on the play an uneasy structure of two one-acts. Each has Josie and Molly making decisions about their future together, but the lighter-than-air quality of the dialogue signals us to take this less than seriously.
Michelle Mindlin’s production finds itself going in three directions at once: Chambers’ TV-inspired writing; Heather Riekels’ very theatrical, make-believe set; and a cast suggesting depths absent in the script. McCanles has a nice, salt-of-the-earth approach to Josie, and Aspers emphasizes Molly’s high-strung nature while resisting the temptation to push it to excess. James S. Ford does his best to engage us as an emcee setting up the continuing adventures of Molly and Jo, but this never feels like the fairy tale it wants to be.
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