Merry McCarthyism

Uptown Players take a comic romp through Hollywood's commie-fearing '50s

As husband Frank, Nye Cooper gets to show off his deft physical comedy skills. Drunkenly shaking off a trench coat, he's a little bit Don Knotts, a little Charlie Chaplin. Best known to Dallas theatergoers as "Crumpet the Elf" in WaterTower Theatre's annual production of the one-man comedy The Santaland Diaries, Cooper matches Covington evenly in the mugging department.

From the rest of the strong ensemble, Renee Krapff is a standout as Marta, using a voice redolent of old Hollywood's insistence on the "Mid-Atlantic" accent. And by not joining the other actors in a buffet of scenery chewing, Brian Gonzales gets big laughs by underplaying his role as a leftie playwright. He and Krapff do some great funny business with lit cigarettes.

Mary Dale (Coy Covington, with Nye Cooper) is anything but a method actress. Her on-camera method is "Learn your lines and don't bump into the furniture."
Mark Oristano
Mary Dale (Coy Covington, with Nye Cooper) is anything but a method actress. Her on-camera method is "Learn your lines and don't bump into the furniture."

Sets for Red Scare are intentionally tacky. But the costumes by Suzie Shankle and Bill Bullard have the '50s elegance of a Douglas Sirk film. That hostess coat. Those leopard gloves. The swooping feathers on Mary's new hat. Simply divine, dahling. Covington's wardrobe is particularly impressive. He even gets a fresh gown for his bows in front of the red velvet curtain. Yes, a redcurtain. Maaaaaarvelous.

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