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“BRIDES OF THE MOON” IS ENTERTAINING, BUT UNEVEN

Common Ground Theatre’s current production of the R-rated 1996 sex comedy, BRIDES OF THE MOON, written and originally performed by The 5 Lesbian Brothers (Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, and Lisa Kron), is entertaining, but uneven, partly due to its smirky script — for example, the play takes place in the year 2069 (get it?) — and wink-wink double entendres and partly due to a CGT ensemble that hasn’t quite gelled and has not found its comic rhythm yet. It is up to guest director Cynthia Cahill to smooth out the rough spots in this presentation and find more ways to make the show’s predictable characters and situations funnier than they were last Friday night.

Rachel Klem, Page Purgar, Lormarev Jones, Tara Stone, and Laurie Wolf; Photo by Jeff Alguire

CGT managing director Rachel Klem does delightful double duty as both bitter, brooding American astronaut Lynn Stone and her haughty French replacement on the current mission, bitchy, chain-smoking astronaut Gabrielle Bichon-Frisse. While Stone seethes and growls under her breath on Earth, Bichon-Frisse flounces around a space ship with an all-female crew bound for a romantic rendezvous with male astronauts on a distant moon. Then a unexpected collision with a hunk of space trash — an errant Winnebago no less — interrupts the flight and triggers the women’s preprogrammed sexual urges, resulting in a lesbian love-fest somewhere on “the dark side of Uranus” (get it?).

As of Friday night, the usually reliable Page Purgar hadn’t yet hit her comic stride as mission commander Tylie Holway — she had too many tentative moments — but Lormarev Jones was a stitch as insufferably perky schoolteacher-in-space Bridget MacKinney and was appropriately humdrum as genial regular dad Ken Powers; Laurie Wolf was amusing as Dai Dai the chimp, but a bit prosaic as housewife-with-a-secret Mrs. Steve Powers; and Tara Stone had some funny moments as the Powers’ disaffected daughter Carmen and Slotya Rimjobovich, the robust Russian astronaut with the smutty surname.

The side-by-side spaceship and suburban-home sets created by scenic designer Jeff Alguire deserve kudos, and so do the uncredited video projections and the original music by composer Heidi Rodewald. If director Cynthia Cahill can eliminate some of the rough spots, and get some of the cast members to turn up their performances a notch or two in key scenes, BRIDES OF THE MOON may yet find its wings and soar away, with gales of laughter as the wind beneath its wings.

SECOND OPINION: July 14th Durham, NC INDEPENDENT WEEKLY review by Byron Woods (who awarded the show 3.5 of 5 stars): http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/five-lesbian-brothers-brides-of-the-moon-holds-up-more-than-a-decade-later/Content?oid=1533880. (To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the July 8th TRIANGLE THEATER REVIEW preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2010/07/brides-of-the-moon-is-a-bawdy-comedy-with-surprisingly-poignant-moments/.)

Common Ground Theatre presents BRIDES OF THE MOON, written by The 5 Lesbian Brothers, at 8 p.m. July 15-17 at 4815B Hillsborough Rd., Durham, North Carolina 27705.

TICKETS: $14 ($12 students and seniors).

OTHER LINKS:

The Play: http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/8575 (Samuel French, Inc.).

The Playwrights: http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/8575 (Samuel French, Inc.).

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Reviews