Jerry Sroka’s tepid seriocomic backstage drama follows the parallel lives of six actors and their roles in a play-within-a-play about a childless couple’s desperate attempts to conceive. While Sroka’s script indicates the troupe is involved in a highly financed Equity production, everything about the environment shouts cheap waiver. A few remarkable acting moments brighten the outing, including a very entertaining “star turn” by vain TV star Tony, played with arrogance and intellectual honesty by Will Schaub. The most interesting moments come from ageless actress Mariette Hartley, playing a very similar role as Mary — the wise stage veteran who suffers through a stream of small roles while undercut by the battling of writer-director Sam (Dan Hagen) and his wife, Julie (Annette Reid). (Julie produces and suddenly stars in the production.) Ultimately, this relationship leads to real poignancy by the end — but too late to save the evening. Myriad insipid comic moments, including an overabundance of Groucho imitations and old movie references, become exceedingly tedious, and the real director, Don Eitner, is unable to bring the disparate elements together to create a convincing dramatic event.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: April 4. Continues through June 1, 2008
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