Mama's boy

Cocteau slays a monster mother in DTC's Indiscretions

Gray-haired, easily flustered Peter Davies makes us believe that his mind can wander so far away from his Parisian apartment that he will allow his wife and son to inappropriately console each other. The catalyst of the evening is short-haired, money-conscious, self-deprecating Aunt Leo, played with superbly sour, left-at-the-altar conviction by Sybil Lines. Her desire for revenge is as desperate as her hope for family unity, and thanks to her, the action of the play careens like an anxious bumper car between those two goals.

The problem is that this version of Cocteau's oedipal dramedy, promptly banned in Paris upon its premiere 60 years ago, is so afraid of its own subject matter that it must render every relationship lampoonish so the central romance between mother and son is consumed by the other conflicts. Once upon a time, camp was a useful prism from which to view gender hypocrisy. In a world which staunchly monitors stories about conflict between the sexes, Indiscretions has been co-opted as vampy escapist comedy. You can't help but believe that Cocteau proposed a more radical mix of laughter and analysis than this souped-up vaudevillian treatment offers.

Indiscretions (Les Parents Terrible) runs through February 2. Call 522-

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