Over the years the summer theater circuit has had more than its fair share of awful plays and awful productions, and while ” … love, Julie” doesn’t necessarily set a new low, it’s way down there.
A tacky situation comedy about two middle-aged women deserted by their husbands, it shamelessly condescends to both as they search for love and/or sex. Only made worse by direction and acting that make a broad script even broader, “Julie” is a mistake that London-born, Australian-based playwright Patrick Edgeworth (“Boswell for the Defense”) might well think of suppressing. With virtually all the action happening offstage, the play features a tape recorder and telephone in far too important roles, further evidence of impoverished writing.
Millicent Martin, the more experienced stage actress in this cast, gives the more irritating performance, as a working-class Englishwoman who moved to Australia 20 years previously. Enunciating her lines rather than giving them any urgently needed throwaway subtlety, she pedantically places exactly the same glaringly clear emphasis on each word, each line.
By contrast, Helen Reddy’s performance as a randy Australian sleeping with the local handyman, and then a boy toy from the nearby supermarket, is merely messy.
The play is set in Melbourne, yet it’s far more English sex farce (Martin gets to show off her underwear as well as fall into a relationship with the husband of her husband’s mistress) than genuine Australiana. Certainly ” …love , Julie” will try anything for a cheap laugh, including flavored condoms.The production opened the Westport Country Playhouse season June 24, moved to Cape Cod two weeks later, and is now completing its six-week tour in Sharon. R.I.P.