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‘Fuddy Meers’ a fine production

Mary Burkin

“Fuddy Meers” is a comedy of distorted truths. Even the title is a

distortion of the words “funny mirrors,” like the ones you find at a

carnival fun house. The central character, Claire, is a special kind

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of amnesiac -- the poor thing can’t remember what happened yesterday,

let alone what happened last year.

Events unfold as freshly for her as they do for the audience on

one wild and definitely crazy day. Still, even the cheerfully

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unflappable Claire understands something horrible must have happened

to make her so desperately need to forget.

This is the Los Angeles premiere of playwright David

Linday-Abaire’s wonderfully serious romp, transported from

Off-Broadway, and The Colony Theatre earned that honor with its

consistently high standards.

Robert L. Smith’s set design is marvelously functional and

flexible, even if it lacks a door fit for Claire’s rebellious son

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Kenny (Michael Riesz, with appropriately spiked hair) to slam in

requisite teenage fashion.

Bradley M. Look’s makeup design, A. Jeffrey Schoenberg’s costumes,

Lisa D. Katz’s lighting and Drew Dalzell’s sound design are solidly

professional.

Director David Rose made a legitimate choice to focus on the

antics instead of the angst, the package instead of the gift. The

uniformly fine actors work loud and fast, and direct the jokes

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straight out to the audience, although talking to each other might

sometimes be less distracting and make more sense.

Special mention goes to Denise Dillard as Claire, the energetic

hub of all the action; Donald Sage Mackay as the Limping Man willing

to tell Claire anything, as long as it doesn’t involve answering any

of her questions; and Jonathan Palmer as Claire’s faithful, albeit

constantly surprising, husband.

But grabbing the prize for most heart-wrenchingly hilarious is

Nick DeGruccio as both the child-like Millet, and Millet’s obscenely

hilarious hand-puppet Hinky-Binky. “You should never hurt people!”

Millet half-yells and half-begs. Of course, you shouldn’t.

That’s the whole point.


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