By Dee Jae Cox
A Funny Little Thing called Love, Currently in production with the Desert Theatre works at the Arthur Newman Theatre in Palm Desert, is a romp through some very funny scenes – and some not so funny, but playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten weave together a stage piece that is reminiscent of the old comedy vignette shows that were loved in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Laugh-In and The Carol Burnett Show come to mind. You take a group of very talented actors, put them in comical situations, mix in some witty dialogue and you have a few rolls of the eyes and a lot of laughs. That’s A Funny Little Thing Called love.
Under a full moon on this unpredictable night of romance, these four romantic stories take you on an around-the-world journey of unexpected and humorous tales of love. From San Francisco, CA “Love is in the Air,” to Dallas Texas, “The Lone Star Ladies Justice Brigade.” Across the waters to Hawaii “A Hono-lulu of a Honeymoon” and London England, with “A little Brit of Romance.” And then back to New York with “Upper West Side Story”. Love is indeed a many splendored thing.
Shirley LeMaster in her role as Elise, in “The Lone Star Ladies Justice Brigade,” stole the show. She was spot on hilarious with a well-crafted sense of timing. “You don’t mess with Texas Women, they got shotguns and curling irons.”
“A Little Brit of Romance” with Garnett Smith, Jan Briggs, Pat Melvin, Ronda Williams and Stephen Blackwell, was the highlight of the whole night. This particular segment, saved for the opening of the second act, was intelligently written, brilliantly performed and definitely is more than enough to make you want to hurry back after intermission. What happens when you stick a backwoods American teen in an upscale London restaurant with two very proper Brits and a 90 year-old waitress? A hysterically good time.
The wonderful music selection of timeless love song favorites added to the ambience of the evening. The Set is simple, low budget pieces, which probably explains the absence of a set designer for the production, but Lance Phillips-Martinez obviously has a good time staging this fast paced piece. Applause for the dialect coaches, Liza Nekrasova, Shirley LeMaster and Garnett Smith. I was never once distracted by an over the top accent.
This is a family show and the laughs could probably be enjoyed by all ages, but I’d leave the kids at home. Enjoy a night out with friends, one of these scenes are bound to make you laugh out loud. And you’ll no doubt leave the theatre with a smile.
A Funny Little Thing Called Love, a production of Desert Theatreworks, is performed at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, through Sunday, June 27th, at the Arthur Newman Theatre at the Joslyn Center, located at 73750 Catalina Way, in Palm Desert. Tickets are $23 to $25
For Reservations: call 760-980-1455, or visit www.dtworks.org.
Dee Jae Cox, is a playwright, director and producer. She is the Cofounder and Artistic Director for The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project and the host of KPTR 1450’s hit radio show, “California Woman 411” in Palm Springs.