By Lauren Smart
By Jane R. LeBlanc
By Lauren Smart
By Elaine Liner
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
Ashley and Brian, seen often on Dallas stages until they decamped for Manhattan a few years ago, are solid musical theater pros. She's a tall, rubbery-faced comedian with a strong, chesty voice; he's a short, stocky character type who's quick on his feet—Jason Alexander with a mop of curly black hair. They have adorable chemistry. (We'll see Brian again this fall when the national tour of Shrek comes to the Music Hall at Fair Park.)
If only Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales were doing this show in a better venue than PFamily. Located at the back of a shopping center on a far-flung stretch of Preston Road, the theater is a no-frills black box with acoustics akin to the inside of an oil drum. The air conditioner buzzes like a plague of locusts and the chairs are back-breaking plastic folding jobs. No effort has been made to give this show any style, technically or visually. Flat lighting leaves dark spots center stage. And in lieu of real set and costume designs, PFamily has borrowed bulky furniture from the store next door (the bed linens still have tags on) and put the actors in droopy dresses and tuxes from a bridal retailer. Ashley's ash-blond wigs are cheap, shiny and don't fit her head.
Director Park also has cheapened his cast's valiant efforts to keep energy up by allowing too many time-wasting pauses between scenes. Dead air is deadly in a two-person musical. When no one's onstage, it's left to poor Mullino to vamp bar after repetitive bar until somebody comes back out and starts singing.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels continues through May 16 at Kalita Humphreys Theater. Call 214-219-2718.
I Do! I Do! continues through May 2 at PFamily Arts Theatre, Plano. Call 972-378-1234.
Maybe wait to see the Gonzaleses in I Do! I Do! when they do it someplace else.