Frogs

TX: When widow Dee (Jeanne Bates) hears a frog in her retirement studio apartment , security man Harry (Dennis Patrick) appears to rout out the elusive amphibian. Predictably, if slowly, love blossoms between the two seniors.

With:
Cast: Jeanne Bates, Dennis Patrick, Kevin McMahon, Sandy Roveta, Margaret Muse. Clunky script, cliched characters, weak acting and flaccid direction doom playwright Mary Jane Roberts' romantic comedy set in a retirement community.

TX: When widow Dee (Jeanne Bates) hears a frog in her retirement studio apartment , security man Harry (Dennis Patrick) appears to rout out the elusive amphibian. Predictably, if slowly, love blossoms between the two seniors.

Several other characters pop in and out of the story, including nosy neighbor Annie (Margaret Muse) and Dee’s children, Julie (Sandy Roveta), who can’t wait to get her hands on her mother’s money; and Bill (Kevin McMahon), who is so dedicated as a mime that he will speak to no one.

The plot of “Frogs” is paper thin, unsurprising and slow. The characters are little more than familiar types, who seem to plod along in a kind of languid stupor toward some resolution of their dramatic problems. While the main problem is the stilted dialogue and tortured exposition, the acting also is disappointing. Only a couple of brief, humorous moments from McMahon lighten the proceedings at all.

Director Jerry Evans offers little guidance to the actors, who deliver lines awkwardly and with hardly a nod to deeper characterizations. The pace also drags in this mostly confused and superficial display. Set designs by Erik White, while admittedly minimal, look like dated versions of Toys R Us decor and add to the confused tone of the piece.

The result is barely passable television fare and certainly a missed opportunity for theater.

Frogs

(Theatre West, Hollywood; 165 seats; $ 15 top)

Production: Theatre West presents a comedy in two acts by Mary Jane Roberts. Directed by Jerry Evans.

Creative: Set design, Erik White; costume design, Al Lehman; lighting design, Lee Bauer; choreography, Todd Nielson; art design, Richard Neibaur. Opened Nov. 10, 1995. Reviewed Dec. 3, 1995. Closes Jan. 14, 1996. Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Cast: Cast: Jeanne Bates, Dennis Patrick, Kevin McMahon, Sandy Roveta, Margaret Muse. Clunky script, cliched characters, weak acting and flaccid direction doom playwright Mary Jane Roberts' romantic comedy set in a retirement community.

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