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."

Details

continues at Trinity River Arts Center through May 16. Call 214-219-2718.

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 red curtain. Maaaaaarvelous.

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