By: Isa Goldberg
In Perfect Arrangement, 1950s kitsch collides with camp comedy for a frolicking first act. Topher Payne’s new play, produced by Primary Stages Off Broadway at The Duke, captures the ethos of that conservative dull era. "It’s like a Jane Wyman movie, but with Lesbians," as one of the characters opines. More importantly, it’s a gay play that attacks the traditional white male bastion – the US government, and the misogynist society it reflects.
To maintain their front as straight men, Bob and Jim (Robert Eli and Christopher J. Hanke) are married to Millie and Norma, (Mikaela Feely-Lehmann and Julia Coffey) two gorgeous lesbians in a committed relationship. The ensemble of actors works together seamlessly.
As directed by Michael Barakiva, Act I takes off as a well-paced farce, with swinging closet doors and broadly stylized performances. By Act II, the plot takes a serious turn. (No spoiler alert, here.) Even with its obvious proselytizing, the show goes over like "a spoonful of Geritol" in a jigger (or two) of vodka, spiked by Jennifer Caprio’s sassy 50s wardrobe, for the ladies.
Photo: James Leynse
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