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Humor blooms in Pollard's 'Send Me No Flowers'



The Pollard Theatre's current offering is the stage version of one of that screen duo's string of hits from the Sixties: "Send Me No Flowers." While one could easily argue that these formula comedies are museum pieces of the past, their enduring popularity suggests otherwise.

Director Robert Matson is something of a specialist with the comedy of errors, having acted successfully in British drawing-room pieces for years. The snappy pace and detailed bits are right on the mark. Michael James' flawless set design and costumes set the time and tone, right down to the Formica breakfast table and Technicolor turquoise furniture.

Timothy Stewart and Rebecca Wooldridge lead the cast as the perfect couple whose tidy ritualistic lives are shattered. Wooldridge nails the pert cheerfulness of the wife happy to butter the hubby's toast, then turns hot vamp in one of his nightmare daydreams, and at last shows true spunk in tossing him out.

Stewart's jaw-dropping takes and comic suffering just get better as the evening progresses. While his character is loaded up with necessary sight gags and physical bits, his genuine earnestness behind the technique never fails to shine through.

The supporting cast occasionally gets bogged down with timing, sometimes forgetting to just genuinely play character. Michael Edsel is always engaging. Although a little nervous opening night, Gil Lopez should smooth out, and James Ong is fun.

While the trappings of the play's world are 45-plus years old, the "battle of the sexes" and love triangles prove timeless.

"?Linda McDonald


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