Regretrosexual: The Love Story
In his desperate attempts to adapt to any situation, straight comedian Dan Rothenberg spent two years in San Francisco dating men so he wouldn't face rejection from his best friend, who was just coming out of the closet. This is only the most bizarre of Rothenberg's neuroses, all of which he let spill in his earlier, one-man show about this gay period ("not a phase"). Two years later his equally psychologically damaged wife, Colleen Crabtree, joins him to create this touching and hilarious two-hander that follows their courtship. Rothenberg swears to the audience that he is going to be up-front with Crabtree about his sexual experiment, until for a very specific reason she yells at him one day, "Just don't be gay!" While serious relationship issues develop between these two broken characters, the actors (playing themselves) are so likable, attractive and funny that the evening is a joy. Crabtree is especially amusing as she caricatures Rothenberg's family and friends - most painfully, his mother. Richard Kuhlman's light director's touch switches directions whenever the play begins to move toward either bathos or goofiness. A simple but flexible set of colorful wooden cutouts by Alex Hutton is quite effective - and gives Rothenberg a few good laughs as he winks at the audience about the cleverness of the set design. Hudson Guild Theater, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 15. (323) 960-7822 or www.plays411.com/regretrosexual.
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