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Gays of Our Lives

Tip (Lee Garlington) is a mother with three adult children: Mary Pat (Paige Pengra), who recently had twins, bringing her brood to six; Lance (Tom Young), who recently broke up with his gay lawyer lover, Peter (Gregg Lyons); and Kathleen (Bonnie Brennan), a lesbian who says she wants to try men again.

With:
Cast: Bonnie Brennan, Benny S. Cannon, Susan Chuang, Lee Garlington, Tom Heard, Harriet Leider, Greg Lyons, Paige Pengra, Carrie Stauber, Monica Torres, Tom Young. Not intended to be more than a campy romp through a homosexual spoof of soap operas, "Gays of Our Lives" by Claudia Allen does nothing more. It's a skit stretched too long. The elastic snaps somewhere in the first act, but the actors don't flag, and neither does a chunk of the audience.

Tip (Lee Garlington) is a mother with three adult children: Mary Pat (Paige Pengra), who recently had twins, bringing her brood to six; Lance (Tom Young), who recently broke up with his gay lawyer lover, Peter (Gregg Lyons); and Kathleen (Bonnie Brennan), a lesbian who says she wants to try men again.

Tip leaves her job as a word processor to work at sea on an oil tanker. There , Kitty (Carrie Stauber) introduces Tip to the joys of lesbian love. Kitty, though, has lovers in every port, and Tip gets jealous. Meanwhile, Mary Pat’s husband, Jeff (Tom Heard), falls in love with Mary Pat’s brother, Lance. Someone kills Jeff, and the question is, who? Mary Pat is wrongly convicted, and she ends up in prison with a twisted matron (Harriet Leider), an old woman (Benny S. Cannon), and an Asian murderer (Susan Chuang) with whom she falls in love.

There are also bits about Jeff’s having an evil twin, and Tip’s having a daughter (Monica Torres) out of wedlock in high school; the daughter surfaces and has a lesbian relationship with Tip’s other daughter, Kathleen, using vegetables as sex toys.

In essence, everyone falls for people of the same sex, and isn’t it fun? The story, while it has its own logic most of the time, falls away when it comes to Leider’s police detective-commissioner-matron. Considering the subject matter, a huh? will suffice.

Director Marlene Zuccaro keeps the pacing fast, which the material requires, the lights going up and down as scene after scene rattles by. A few scenes, particularly in act two, could go faster.

Garlington, who also currently plays Pot Mom at the Cast Theatre, grounds the play as well as she can, raising the material an extra notch. So does Susan Chuang in two roles: as a Hong Kong madame who uses stereotyping to her advantage, and as Mary Pat’s sensitive lover in prison.

The other actors hold their own (pun intended) and throw some merriment into gay. If all you want to chew is bubble gum, there’s plenty here.

Gays of Our Lives

Production: Gays of Our Lives (Globe Playhouse, West Hollywood; 99 seats; $ 20 top) Black Box Prods. in association with Kate Calarco Kuhn, Silent Partner, Karen Lash, Girl Seeker, Debbie Koltun and Strata Graphics present a comedy in two acts by Claudia Allen, directed by Marlene Zuccaro, produced by Leigh Fortier.

Crew: Set design, Francesca Bartoccini; light design, Frank McKown; sound design, Kai Morrison, costume design, Liza Whitcraft, prop master, Chuck Olsen; associate producer, John Foley. Opened April 14, reviewed April 21, 1996; runs through May 26. Running time: 2 hours.

With: Cast: Bonnie Brennan, Benny S. Cannon, Susan Chuang, Lee Garlington, Tom Heard, Harriet Leider, Greg Lyons, Paige Pengra, Carrie Stauber, Monica Torres, Tom Young. Not intended to be more than a campy romp through a homosexual spoof of soap operas, "Gays of Our Lives" by Claudia Allen does nothing more. It's a skit stretched too long. The elastic snaps somewhere in the first act, but the actors don't flag, and neither does a chunk of the audience.

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