Half Witty

Most Fabulous Story stumbles when it stops playing for laughs

The whole cast hit its stride in Act Two, where the original gay and lesbian couples became contemporary partners who collaborate via artificial insemination on a child to be borne by a very gripy Jane. Round after round of solid belly laughs seemed to encourage the performers to tighten up their timing and enthusiasm for a wedding by a wheelchair-bound rabbi and talk show host played by T. Seret Gomez-Ryan (if you want her services, call 1-900-SHE-BREW) and a riotous, profanity-laced delivery in darkness by Jane. It's Paul Rudnick who breaks the rhythm with the abrupt introduction of protease inhibitors failing Steve and some throwaway questioning of God's existence. Simply put, Rudnick raises very vexing themes late in the game that he's either unwilling or unable to fully explore. AIDS and existential despair are certainly linked, but he hasn't found a humorous way to deal with them. That may sound callous unless you've read the late, lamented David B. Feinberg's Eighty-Sixed and Spontaneous Combustion, fictionalized autobiographies that find reasons to laugh amidst a plague. They achieve what's lacking in Rudnick's approach to his material--an understanding that mortality demands a raucous rather than reverent response.

Steve (Tony Phillips) and Adam (David Torres) make the Garden of Eden a very gay place, indeed, in  Fort Worth Theatre's regional premiere.
Steve (Tony Phillips) and Adam (David Torres) make the Garden of Eden a very gay place, indeed, in Fort Worth Theatre's regional premiere.

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