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Take a trip to Planet Lovely at Stone Cottage in Addison
Penny Rathbun/Staff photo
The cast of “The Importance of Being Lovely” pose with the opening night celebratory cake after the first performance of the comedy. The Alejandro de la Costa play runs at the Stone Cottage in Addison through Aug. 18. Call 214-477-4942 for ticket information. From left, Richard S. Blake, Mark-Brian Sonna and Dylan Peck.
By Penny Rathbun
It's the blood red velvet, five-inch heels that it's impossible to stop looking at.
The rest of the costumes are rather amazing as well.
Yes, Lovely Uranus is back in all of his glittery, eye-lashed glory. Mark-Brian Sonna as Lovely amazed everyone last year in Alejandro de la Costa's “Outrageous, Sexy, Nekkid Romp”.
Audiences were so amazed that they demanded more from Lovely this year. Playwright de la Costa heard the call and obliged with “The Importance of Being Lovely” for this season of MBS Productions.
The comedy (well it would have to be wouldn't it?) begins where “Nekkid Romp” left off, with Lovely setting up housekeeping with his significant other of the moment, Casey, played by Dylan Peck.
Peck gives Casey a sad vulnerability as he constantly picks up after Lovely and waits for someone, preferably Lovely, to make a permanent commitment to him.
Lovely's and Casey's domestic life seems to be bobbing along on calm waves when in strides Randy played by Richard S. Blake.
Randy appears to be a social worker or psychologist or something at the Rainbow Nursing Home. Perhaps he shows up to discuss retirement plans with Lovely. He's really there to upset everybody's vanity case.
He puts the moves on Lovely who goes all atwitter at the attempt. While it's not clear why he goes all southern belle at a man making advances on him, the seduction scene between the two is great fun to watch. Blake sheds his Republican suit and tie with no problem at all.
The play becomes another “nekkid romp” while Randy repeatedly tries to put his clothes back on while hiding from Casey who is tidying up. Peck and Blake play these scenes with flawless timing.
Eventually it's Casey's turn for Blake's attentions. This is when the play becomes something more than a superficial sex farce.
Casey tries to resist Blake's advances, not because he wants to but because he thinks he should. He feels committed to Lovely.
Lovely seems to want to be committed to Casey, but nobody has made any declarations of undying love. A friend of mine would call this a “grow up or get therapy” kind of play. I kept wanting them to get therapy, but then thought better of it. If they did de la Costa would write a play about it and it would show up next season. I'm not ready to sit through Lovely's therapy session.
Time for these characters to emotionally graduate from junior high and learn to manage their sex lives like grownups. Oh dear, could this be a first step toward understanding de la Costa's writing?
A lovely moment comes when Sonna crosses the stage in heels, fully accessorized dress and an expansive picture hat. The man has gorgeous legs.
Another lovely moment is Sonna swanning about in a full-skirted, long-sleeved lace and satin wedding gown. Time for full disclosure, I provided the wedding gown and it couldn't have gone to a better home.
Charles Ballinger of Plano directed de la Costa's tome of semi-love with a deftness that puts everything in its proper place. The farce is properly farcical and he blends the emotionally-painful scenes with the farce skillfully enough that audience members have mostly enjoyed their trip to Planet Lovely.
The run of the show has been extended for a week. It runs at the Stone Cottage in Addison through August 18.
There is nudity and strong language in the show. Be advised. Visit www.MBSProductions.net for ticket information.
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