Theater goes for the jocular with 'Regrets'

2013-02-14T00:00:00Z Theater goes for the jocular with 'Regrets'Kathleen Allen Kallen@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star
February 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

You can't say Live Theatre Workshop doesn't mix things up a bit.

This weekend, the company is closing the thoughtful "The Chosen."

Next weekend it opens the jocular "Regrets Only" by Paul Rudnick.

"The Chosen" was about two teen boys concerned with learning and fairness and religion and making the right choices. The action takes place in Brooklyn.

"Regrets Only" is about a middle-age socialite, her husband and their interior designer friend, all concerned about appearances and money. It's set in a penthouse on Manhattan's Park Avenue.

Which doesn't make it any less a play. But it sure makes it more ripe for humor. And then some, says director Sabian Trout.

"The play is hilarious, stylish, elegant and imaginative. It's relevant. It's thought-provoking. It's hysterically funny, and the dialogue is delicious."

Well.

But, she adds quickly, there's more to it than that.

"At the same time, it's about modern social issues, particularly marriage and friendship."

The Paul Rudnick play is the story of Tibby McCullough, who is obsessed with which shoes go with which bag, which jewels, which dress, and whatever else people with money obsess about, and her lawyer husband, Jack. Into this mix is fashion designer Hank, famous, catty and gay.

When Jack gets a call from President Bush (this takes place in the '90s) asking him to draft a constitutional amendment establishing marriage between a man and a woman, things get interesting.

But don't think this is just about gay marriage.

"The play looks at marriage in general, and the value of marriage," Trout says.

Though the play was written and takes place more than a decade ago, it still resonates today.

"It's completely relevant," Trout says. But for a few mentions of Bush, "the play could be set in any time," she adds.

Besides that, it's a play with a purpose beyond the humor.

"The play is about the ultra-glamorous, wealthy, famous people, and it's silly and catty," she says. "But it also has a surprising, down-to-earth feel, and it's intelligent and forthright. You can sense the influence of (Noël) Coward and (Oscar) Wilde. … The playwright isn't asking you to change your views; he's asking you to reflect on your own relationships."

If you go

• What: Live Theatre Workshop's production of "Regrets Only."

• Playwright: Paul Rudnick.

• Director: Sabin Trout.

• When: Previews are 7:30 p.m. today and Friday; opening is 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Regular performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through March 24.

• Where: 5317 E. Speedway.

• Cost: $12 preview, $18 opening and regular performances.

• Reservations, information: 327-4242.

• Run time: 2 hours, with one intermission.

• Cast: Lesley Abrams, Amanda Gremel, Rhonda Hallquist, Pat Timm, Keith Wick and Michael Woodson.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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