A Brief History of Penguins and Promiscuity

Seven years ago in a Parisian hotel, linguist Julia (Sondi Kroeger Foley) conceived a son. On the anniversary of the blessed impregnation, the potential fathers have assembled to duke it out over young Ernest's parentage: Julia's tweedy husband, Albert (Jonah Hamilton Keel); his best friend King (Michael John Walters), a warty and hook-nosed Antarctic biologist; and Roquefort (Travis Clark), the French waiter from downstairs. "It's like a slutty Brigadoon," moans the cuckolded Albert. The reason behind the straight-laced Julia's lapse in judgment was a vial of pheromonally potent penguin musk belonging to King, and even now, when she catches a whiff, her unappealing ex-lovers transform into a strapping beefcake (Ryan McCann) — a funny flourish that keeps Walters, Clark and McCann flinging themselves behind a convenient sofa. James McLindon's lampoon of a British sex farce boasts plenty of bawdy puns and a set that demands stage designer Leonard Ogden cover every square foot with those titular beady-eyed ice birds. It could motor along quite well if it were crisper and more sure-footed, yet despite smart turns by Keel and Clark, director Kevin Cochran allows the frenzy to lapse into stridency — and, worse yet, niceness. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Jan. 18. Continues through Feb. 9, 2008


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