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Theatre Review: Searching For Eden

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Searching for Eden" is an amiable play that does a lot of borrowing. The characters are lifted straight out of Genesis, and many of the better lines come from essays penned by Mark Twain, which purported to be "diaries" by Adam and Eve that Twain had "translated."

The show also borrows from 1930s Hollywood. Adam, played by statuesque actor Jason Kuykendall, wears a loincloth that recalls Tarzan. And slender actress Lyndsy Kail plays Jane - I mean Eve - as a kooky chatterbox. Thus the battle of the sexes begins.

Eve: "All week, I've tried to get to know him." Adam: "She won't leave me alone!"

Eve: "He doesn't have much to say…" Adam: "She won't stop talking."

Eve: "I don't think he talks because he's very shy." Adam: "I wish she'd stop talking…"

Tarzan and Jane, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, you get the idea. It's an old, proven formula. And while this Garden of Eden comedy doesn't break new ground, it's still a smart saunter down memory lane.

After intermission, the story moves to the present, with Adam and Eve as empty nesters who've been married for a couple thousand years. Adam's arranged a romantic getaway in the remnants of the garden where they met. But Eve soon gets bored, and starts working on a crossword puzzle.

Eve: "Another word for childhood." Adam: "Over rated."

Eve: "That's two words." Adam: "Superflous."

Even: "No, four letters… umm…"

This second act portrait of two people with the middle-aged blahs is also familiar territory. But it's deftly done, and as easy to slip into as your favorite shoes. This is a thoroughly pleasant little show, even as it trades on words and characters derived from other more substantial works. The B Street Theatre is basically playing it safe - and you're still likely to enjoy a laugh or two along the way.

Searching for Eden continues through May 29th at the B Street Theatre.

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