STAGE REVIEW : ‘Red Hot Lovers’: More Fizzle Than Sizzle

Even with several (unsanctioned by the author) line changes and updates, director Nicholas Siconolfi’s sophomoric Tiffany Theatre staging of Neil Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” makes the comedy more irrelevant than ever.

The three acts, tracking fish restaurateur Barney Cashman (Dave Forman) in three dubious attempts at an affair in his mother’s living room, are so predictably formularized that the moment after each new woman appears (Jordan St. Clair, Amy Lyndon and Sonya Austin, in order), the comedy feels drowned in embalming fluid. There’s a creepy, marionette-like manner to Siconolfi’s actors that inadvertently dehumanizes Simon’s absurdist view of love, and Forman turns Barney into an irritant you wish would just go away.

“Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” Tiffany Theatre, 8532 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 and 7 p.m. Ends Sept. 1. $17.50-$20; (213) 289-2999, (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.