By Lauren Smart
By Jane R. LeBlanc
By Lauren Smart
By Elaine Liner
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
Fiorello! boasts a tight, witty book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, and a score of good, loud tunes by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock. "Politics and Poker" and "Little Tin Box" haven't become standards the way "Luck Be a Lady" has, but maybe that's just a bad roll of the musical comedy dice.
Lyric has a winner with Fiorello!
Here's what happens in Look What's Happened to Pixie DeCosta, the new two-act comedy written and directed by Bruce R. Coleman at Theatre Too: A guy (Paul Taylor) plays female twins, Margot and Pixie, reclusive B-movie stars from the 1930s who drop out of sight for 25 years until murder brings the press and police to their Hollywood apartment.
There's good drag acting and great drag acting. Good is Uptown Players' recent spoof of the silly schoolgirls of TV's Facts of Life. Great is the same company's en traviste take on James Kirkwood's movie siren comedy Legends (still playing starring drag specialists B.J. Cleveland and Coy Covington).
Bad drag acting is Pixie DeCosta, which leaves no question that Taylor's a man—his chest hair peeks out of his décolletage, and heavy makeup doesn't disguise a 5 o'clock shadow—and thus adds confusion to a script that never decides if the DeCosta sisters are two eccentric women or one extremely weird dude.
Tough sometimes for a playwright to direct his own work. Instead of stepping back to edit and rewrite, Coleman has indulged his play too liberally and ended up with an overlong, unfunny Whatever Happened to Baby Jane with Norma Desmond on Sunset Boulevard. Starring a skinny, hairy man in a dress.
Nuts to that.