Theater Review: “Regrets Only”
Read More: Richmond Triangle Players
Richmond Triangle Players opens their 20th anniversary season with “Regrets Only,” a play by Paul Rudnick featuring strong direction by Jerry Williams. This high energy play follows an affluent family living, working and socializing in Manhattan during the “W” administration.
Melissa Johnston Price plays Tibby McCullough, wife of the powerful NYC lawyer Jack McCullough, played by Michael Hawke. As the NYC elite often do, the couple happens to have a very famous fashion designer in their close circle of friends: Hank Hadley, played by Joe Pabst.
Jack has been approached by the President of the U.S. to draft an amendment to provide a legal definition of “marriage” and has asked his daughter Spencer, played by Liz Blake White, to assist him. Hank is still reeling from the death of his lover of 30 plus years and as a gay man is less than thrilled about his friend’s new political undertaking. Jack’s job offer causes a few heated discussions between the group about the legality of gay marriage.
While dealing with a very heatedly debated topic, I feel this play does not delve as deep into the subject as it could.
Michael Hawke is usually a favorite of mine to watch, but this part just does not showcase his talent. Johnston Price and Pabst give the strongest performances and have amazing chemistry on stage. Pabst has that leading-man charm so many try to achieve and I very much enjoyed his delivery of little jabs at his character’s fellow fashion designers, “I love Ralph Lauren. And I love all those little embroidered polo players he puts on everything.”
Providing periods of comedic relief in this story are the McCullough’s eccentric maid Myra, played by Jacqueline O’Connor, and Tibby’s mother, Mariette, played by Donna van Winkle. O’Connor gives a strong performance even if her character is not integral to the storyline. Donna van Winkle’s performance is absolutely hilarious. Especially as she is first introduced to us in a crazy costume she has fashioned out of things she found around the streets of Manhattan after, in a world gone topsy turvy, all the gay citizens of New York decide to take a “day off” and Mariette is left stranded in a fitting room without a stitch of clothing.
The set by David Allan Ballas is a gorgeous Manhattan penthouse complimented well by D. Mark Souza’s beautifully constructed costumes. “Regrets” is a fun, fast paced play with a lot of laughs and provides a very glamorous start to RTP’s big anniversary season.
“Regrets Only” is playing at Richmond Triangle Players until October 13. For for information, or to purchase tickets, please go to www.rtriangle.org
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.
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