Monday, July 12, 2010

Rising Action Theatre: Mr Charles/Mexico City (reviews) Action Theatre opened its double bill consisting of Paul Rudnick's Mr Charles, Currently of Palm Beach and David Leddick's Mexico City on July 9, 2010.
Mr. Charles is a late night local television host who is too gay for daytime TV!  Along with his hunky assistant  (who appears in and out of several outfits), he shares his views on everything gay and answers questions from the studio audience.  This short comedy is coupled with David Leddick's original play with music Mexico City, and both will star Mr. Leddick himself.
David Kingery directed a cast that featured David Leddick, Stefan Pinto, and Merry Jo Cortada.

The Sun-Sentinel has declined to review this production.* 

Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
Mr. Charles, which has had two other productions in South Florida (last summer at GableStage and in 2003 as part of City Theatre's Summer Shorts Festival), was also performed last summer by the Rising Action cast at a different Fort Lauderdale venue.
Rudnick's play is a brisk, brief, nutty romp through the world of the gay host of a middle-of-the-night cable access show -- not that the Rising Action version, directed by David Kingery, explores much of its potential.
Pinto's mission in playing Shane... is the show's beefcake, appearing in a series of ever-skimpier costumes until a strategically placed bouquet is all that stands between the enthusiastically narcissistic Shane and total nudity. Bodybuilder Pinto has the hunk part down cold, but a polished comic actor he's not.
...but the success of Mr. Charles turns on the actor playing the title role. And unlike Stephen Trovillion (Summer Shorts) and John Felix (GableStage), Leddick doesn't have the acting chops to deliver much beyond droll, wry line readings. And the happily flaming Mr. Charles is so much more than that.
Leddick delivers a similar performance (albeit in a vintage-styled wig, short skirt and heels) in his own Mexico City, an odd 45-minute piece that aspires to be a cross between the work of Charles Busch and the late Charles Ludlam.
Mexico City has a couple of interesting twists (plus a completely gratuitous, brief appearance by Pinto as the concerned hunky neighbor), but it lacks the style and wit that infuse the work of Busch and Ludlam.
Mr Charles/Mexico City plays at Rising Action Theatre through July 25, 2010.

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