Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pink Champagne With Uprooted and MGAC at 10th Street

Playwright Neil Haven’s latest is a complicated contemporary domestic comedy

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Neil Haven’s work has been an interesting and uneven mix. From the heartwarming holiday show Who Killed Santa? to a cleverly-constructed comedy about an agoraphobic elevator operator, Haven’s work has an enjoyable energy about it. My wife and I still occasionally talk about a comic short he wrote for Pink Banana Theatre featuring a group of ducks in a fountain in Las Vegas.

Haven’s latest is a domestic comedy the appears to be willing to go beyond the traditional scope of the genre that has been so over-done in TV sitcoms over the years. Pink Champaigne stars Jonathan Kishline as Donald—a  man who hasn’t been on terribly good terms with his conservative son Gene (played by John Maclay) since he came out of the closet and split with Gene’s mother. Donald and his husband Patrick (played by T. Stacy Hicks) are surprised to receive a visit from their seventeen year-old grandson Joey (Ari Shapiro.) Evidently, Joey announces that he is gay as well and would like to live with his grandparents, prompting a visit from Gene and his wife Corrine (played by Marti Gobel.)

The premise sounds interesting enough. And with a cast that is this good, there really isn’t any doubt that this is going to be a fun show. Co-presented by Uprooted Theatre, Pink Champaigne takes the intimate space of the Tenth Street Theatre May 20th- June 5th. For reservations, call 414-383-3727.

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