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Light fare with light touch, 'My Three Angels' aspires only to be entertainment, succeeds



One wouldn't normally think of a Christmas play in a 105-degree setting, but that is the temperature in Cayenne, French Guiana, in December, 1910, where "My Three Angels" is set. Actually, a century-plus Fahrenheit Christmastime sounds pretty good right now.

Felix Ducotel (Shawn Hicks) and his wife, Emilie (Kris Schinske), run a shop owned by Felix's cousin, Henri Trochard (John Q. Wilson), a real Scrooge. Unlike Ebenezer, Trochard expects everyone to work on Christmas. And as is Dickens' character, he is transformed, in a sense, by the end. Felix is anything but a hard-nosed businessman, which means that customers take advantage of his generosity and that his books are in a god-awful mess when Trochard arrives from France for an inspection.

Accompanying Trochard is his nephew, Paul (Ian Clinton), with whom the Ducotels' daughter, Marie Louise (Emily Frances Brown), is in love. It so happens that three prisoners (Christopher Rodgers, Mark Loftis and Rick Forsee) "? all murderers, no less "? on work release are repairing the shop's roof, and before long, we realize that the convicts are the eponymous angels. These angels work their miracles through "boldness and a little exaggeration" and some "inspired accounting."

"My Three Angels" is a sweet little play, so everyone gets their just deserts in the end, although it may not have been their first or expected choice. It is a well-made play in the theatrical sense of the term, which means the plot propels the action forward through a series of incidents and coincidences, disregarding realism and characterization. Most of the characters are clich


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