Theatre Review

2nd Story's 'Best of Everything' dull & dated

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Julie Kramer’s adaptation of Rona Jaffe’s sultry and controversial fifties novel, while focusing on the problems of women in the workplace, seems rather tame these days.

With Artistic Director Ed Shea’s emphasis this season on plays that make you laugh, I found little to laugh about it this melodrama centering on women trying to survive in a man’s world.

Kerry Giorgi plays Caroline Bender, a college grad who takes a job as a typist in a publishing company after being ditched by her fiancé. Caroline decides to focus on her career, doing what it takes to advance in the male-dominated office place.

She is surrounded by six women, all with their own back stories and personal problems, and five men, played by two actors, who still call the women “girls” and treat them accordingly. While the play is very dated, it is evident that we haven’t come a very long way since the ’50s.

Director Kira Hawkridge has lined up a fine cast, including veteran Rae Mancini as the hard-nosed boss, but they have little to work with when it comes to dialogue.

The play is 100 minutes long and is dragged out with music and some strange movements between scenes. While the play takes place in the ’50s and contains some ’50s folk and pop (Jinglebell Rock?), we are also treated to the ’40s “String of Pearls” and “In the Mood.” There’s lots of frivolous patter and outright dull conversations, as the women search for something better in their personal and professional lives.

“The Best of Everything” doesn’t measure up to the high standards that 2nd Story Theatre has maintained over the years. The play runs through May 28. Call 247-4200 for reservations.

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