As the pandemic winds down (hopefully), Theatre 40 presents its fifty-fifth season of live drama. After over a year with the absence of footlights, Theatre 40 is back on stage with AS GOOD AS GOLD. Of course, Theatre 40 continued to entertain audiences with live streams during the hiatus; but it’s simply not the same as the real live article.
Written by the talented screen and television writer Marilyn Anderson, AS GOOD AS GOLD is a comedy with a distinctly female point of view. Loosely based on some of the experiences which she faced over her years in Hollywood, Anderson tells a tale of sexism and glass ceilings which seems so appropriate at this “Me-too” moment in time. She even manages to toss in a quick line about Weinstein as she pokes fun at some of the standard tropes associated with show biz in a male-dominated profession. Directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, AS GOOD AS GOLD dives right into the life and times of three female writers, Maggie Carson (Marie Broderick), Karly De Haven (Nicola Victoria Buck), and Elaine Katz (Wendy Hammers) as they navigate the mine-ridden waters of creative Hollywood today. A world in which they have been prevented from gaining the recognition which their talents deserve simply because they belong to the fair sex.
But the creative trio don’t limit their imaginations to their stories alone. They have figured out a way to achieve fame, fortune, and all the perks in between. How about writing a really macho script featuring some gorgeous, muscled guys like Luke (Chance Denman), a play authored by Mr. Macho Man – in this case a figment of their collective imaginations – named Adam Gold? Only there’s a little problem which quickly surfaces: what if agents, producers, directors, and the money men who keep Hollywood afloat want to meet Adam Gold? A problem easily solved by these resourceful ladies. A shoe salesman named Jeffrey (Landon Beatty) seems just perfect for the role of genius writer Adam. But can they keep smiling when their carefully considered plan explodes in very unexpected and comical ways.
*ALERT: This reviewer saw a preview presentation of the show, and these observations reflect the early version. That said, AS GOOD AS GOLD has some hilarious moments and some clever sight gags which definitely tickle the audience’s funny bone. Think about a superman who gradually sheds his clothing – and his identity – to reveal every man’s aspirations and every woman’s dreams. Here and there are occasional witty, amusing, and sometimes timely quips which will bring a smile to the lips and a chuckle to the throat. But this “Gold” world is also peopled by stereotyped characters who fail to come alive and stereotyped situations which have been done and overdone many times before. The pacing was also somewhat slow for the farcical aspects of the comedy. Finally, the spotty ending could use some tightening. Overall, however, AS GOOD AS GOLD is light entertainment just right for theater-goers looking to escape the pandemic for a few hours.
AS GOOD AS GOLD runs through 10/17/21 with performance at 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Theatre 40 is located in the Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Tickets are $35. For information and reservations, call 310-364-0535 or go online
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