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A Celebration of Small-Town America

In Del Shores’ new version of his “Cheatin’,” one black character says to another, “You know she’s acting the fool, just like poor white trash.” With some minor adjustments (mentions of “Ebony,” Whitney Houston, etc.), Shores successfully adapts his delightful piece of fluff from poor white Texas to an African American version.

Lowake, Texas, is so small that other small towns seem big, according to Sid Cranford (Stuart K. Robinson), the owner and operator of the Bluebell Bar and Dining Facility. Speaking to the audience, Cranford confides the latest gossip to rock Lowake. Clarence Hopkins (Greg Poland) is two-timing his longtime girlfriend Sara Lee Turnover (Keana Hall) with Ovella (Angela Teek). Because of an errant letter and Maybelline (Debra D. Holt), the local busybody, Ovella’s husband Teddy (David Roberson) finds out and the romantic entanglements begin.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Mar. 01, 1997 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday March 1, 1997 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 44 words Type of Material: Correction
Theater review--A line in the review of “Cheatin’ ” at Theatre/Theater was inadvertently dropped in Friday’s Calendar. It should have read: Lowake, Texas, is so small that other small towns seem big, according to Sid Cranford (Stuart K. Robinson), the owner and operator of the Bluebell Bar and Dining Facility.

This is “Cheers” without the put-down humor and quirky twists of fate. Rather, Shores wrote and directed a good-natured, whimsical piece celebrating small-town America and true love. From Sid down to the not-so-bright mailman Bo Bob (Rif Hutton), the cast faultlessly affects a cozy, home-spun feel.

* “Cheatin’,” Theatre/Theater, 1713 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Ends March 28. $15. (818) 789-8499. Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes.

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