For Peanuts

Imagine the disaster of a marriage if a grown-up Charlie Brown bedded and wed his nemesis, Lucy van Pelt. She'd constantly call him a "blockhead." He'd take her abuse and try to change his wimpy ways for the sake of the relationship. That's pretty much the plot, such as it is, of Jack and Jill this minor romantic comedy by the mysterious playwright who goes by the name "Jane Martin." To emphasize the Peanuts parallels, the short scenes in director Doug Miller's Second Thought Theatre production in Addison are punctuated with same style of piano jazz riffs of a Charlie Brown holiday special. The set design by Christopher Jenkins is all cartoonish colors, with the requisite hill (for Jack and Jill to go up and tumble off of) sketched out like a page in a children's picture book. Jack, played by a hangdog Mike Schraeder, even wears a baggy tee with a big stripe around it. OK, we get it already. But Charles Schultz's gentle humor is not reflected in the bitter, profane arguments Jane Martin (who's actually a man who runs the Actors' Theatre of Louisville) has the title characters spew at each other. Jack's a whiny little nincompoop. Jill, played by a tense Kristin McCollum, is a straight-up bitch. Why should we care when she pulls the metaphorical football out from under his fragile ego? Through June 10 at the Studio at WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. 972-450-6232.
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: May 24. Continues through June 10

 
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