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Theatre Review: The Owl And The Pussycat

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This two-character play from 1964 recalls a nursery rhyme about an unlikely couple. The owl is the reclusive Felix, a bookstore employee who  writes fiction using a manual typewriter. The pussycat is Doris, a stylish extrovert on the fringes of the modeling business. When they cross paths, their clashing personalities spark an instant argument.

Doris: "Oh, what will I do now? Why did I have to come up here?"

Felix: "Why don't you correct your mistake and leave?"

Doris: "I should have given a certain friend of mine a dollar to beat you up."

Felix: "A dollar? It can't be much of a beating."

Doris: "He's a friend. He'd do it for nothing, but I'd make him take a dollar."

Felix: "I see."

Love at first sight, it is not. But eventually, after several skirmishes, Doris lets down her guard. She pleads with the exasperated Felix to help her get to sleep by reading to her aloud. He chooses a very sexy text.

Felix: "Our forefathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal… equal…"

Doris: "Don't stop. That's nice . . . the Declaration of Independence, right?"

Felix: "No. Custer's farewell address to the Indians…"

Trust me, these two really do fall for each other before this play is over. And it's believable because both characters are very likeable. Veteran performer Tim Orr does his nerdy intellectual character extremely well, typewriter, dictionary and all .  Long-limbed Lyndsy Kail flashes a high voltage smile as she presents an attractive blend of confidence, sensuality and vulnerability. The set design is a veritable time capsule from the Sixties, with an old transistor radio and a rotary phone. All in all, it makes for a nice evening of well-acted romantic comedy - a pleasant journey into our collective past. Jeff Hudson, Capital Public Radio News.

(Music out, Dusty Springfield "The Look of Love")

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