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Beautiful Thing

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Jonathan Harvey

COMPANY : Actor's Express [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Actor's Express [WEBSITE]
ID# 436

SHOWING : May 23, 2002 - August 31, 2002

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Extended to August 31! London's Thamesmead Estate housing project isn't the most obvious setting for romance, especially a romance between two young men. Set to the sunny music of The Mamas and The Papas, Beautiful Thing is an urban fairy tale that brims over with the optimism of a brave new understanding of commitment, and of family. In the words of the playwright, it's "...not about what you get up to after lights out - it's about falling in love." Beautiful Thing is a sweet, exuberant, celebratory comedy.


CAST & CREW LIST
Fight Choreographer Jason Armit
Director David Crowe
Stage Manager Anne Stainback
singer Dani Brillhart
Ste Brian Crawford
Jamie Clifton Guterman
Sandra (through 6/23) Shelly McCook
Leah Aprylle Ross
Tony Scott Warren
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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A Cynic's Nightmare
by Dedalus
Monday, June 17, 2002
4.0
Going into Actor's Express' production of Jonathan Harvey's "Beautiful Thing," I could feel my inner cynic cackling with delight and sharpening his claws. The expectation was yet another "coming-of-age" story filled with quirky characters and well-honed cockney accents, already made into a well-received but insignificant indie film; you know, the sort of play that makes you want to scream at the writer and production team, "What rose-colored planet are you people living on?"

My expectations turned out to be well-founded, and the play was everything I was afraid it was going to be. With one small exception -- I loved every minute of it.

This play was set in a world (obviously not this one) in which first love is fully requited, slutty neighbors have hearts of gold, deadbeat boyfriends have hidden depths, and coming out of the closet is just another excuse for a family group hug. Sure, there are moments of emotional cruelty, parental abuse, and poverty-based angst, but they only served to remind us that the story was a wishful-thinking wet dream.

I can let my inner cynic have full reign now, because, while I was watching the play, I was convinced I was seeing the real thing. I believed the fantasy, and wished it had come in my life a little earlier than it finally did. This was a production that makes your inner pollyanna grab your inner cynic by the neck, shake it a couple times, and scream "Get a Life!"

"Beautiful Life" is a well-produced, well-acted reminder that it is the cynic in us that saps us of joy.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

PS -- I say I gave this production 4 stars instead of 5 only because the set shook sometimes, but in reality, it's so my inner cynic won't beat me up. ;-))) [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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