|Shanan Custer and Charles Hubbell|
The newest resident of the Garage is Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, playing through December 6 and directed by James Detmar.
The two-person, one-set play fits perfectly into the compact space, designed by Jane Ryan as a (rather spacious) walk up apartment in New York's
The play opens on Frankie (Shanan Custer) and Johnny (Charles Hubbell), coworkers at a diner who have just hooked up after a date at Frankie's apartment. We hear the end of their lovemaking as the show begins.
(Sidebar: We were lucky enough to see the Broadway production of the show starring Stanley Tucci and Edie Falco, which was wonderful, but Tucci was naked for so long that it got a little bit hilarious.)
Back to Minnesota! Fortunately, as the Theater Garage is a quite intimate space, when the lights go up, they get dressed.
|Cute promotional card|
McNally's script has funny and poignant moments, but gets a bit repetitive, and has some elements of stalking that have not aged well over the years. Charles Hubbell gives a masterful performance that hits every note of Johnny's complex personality. Always an engaging performer, Hubbell is mesmerizing in this play.
Shanan Custer's Frankie comes off less well. Although Custer is a well-regarded comedienne (recently of Two Sugars, Room for Cream), Frankie is a pretty tough part (remember Michelle Pfeffer in the movie?) as the character tends to be the straight man to the vivid Johnny. Plus, I think Custer had a cold on opening night, which has to really suck as a performer. No calling in sick on opening night!
Eric Webster* also is heard in this play as the radio announcer. Webster, who is married to Shanan Custer, also acts regularly around town including a radio drama show called Shades Brigade--also starring Custer.
Casting Spells is branching into drama after being best known for their production of the musical fractured fairy tale mash-up Disenchanted. I'm looking forward to checking out their work in the future.
*PS by Carly: That would be the dulcet tones of Eric Webster, who used to host my favorite show on KLBB (formerly KLBB 1400 aka The Old People's Station), The Two-Martini Lunch. If you love standards, swing, jazz, the great American songbook, this was YOUR show. I still miss it!