"PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM"A MERRY ROMP IN WOODY ALLEN'S WORLD


BONNIE GOLDBERG

"Play It Again, Sam" is oh, so Woody Allen in all his natural and nebbishy best. Wrapped in a wonton skin of insecurity, "a mass of symptoms" that include a lack of confidence and a surfeit of fussiness, we meet Allan Felix. As a movie critic, he is at the top of his Oscar-ranking game but as a husband he has lost the battle in a blaze of ignominy.

 

West Hartford's intimate Playhouse on Park will be showcasing Allan Felix, complete with his neuroses, in a delightful presentation of Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Sam" until Sunday, March 24.

 

Zane Johnson's Allan Felix captures his character's needs for validation, after his wife (played by a versatile Bethany Fitzgerald) dumps him after two years of dull as dishwater marriage. Now a virtual virgin in the dating world, Allan seeks romantic advice from his movie alter ego Humphrey Bogart (Ted D'Agostino) and moral support form his best friends The Christies, Dick (Dan Matisa) and Linda (Marnye Young).

 

Between their phone book of friends and Allan's little black book, a succession of women (all played in varying degrees of admiration and despair by Bethany Fitzgerald) pass through his West 10th Street New York apartment, all doomed to disappoint and be disappointed.

 

Through it all, only Linda seems to understand and commiserate with his foibles and phobias, until the simultaneous realization that maybe Allan and Linda are really looking for each other in the Love Department of Life. Russ Treyz keeps the physical comedy rolling merrily along, on an attractive apartment set created by Erik D. Diaz.

 

For tickets ($22.50-32.50, seniors $20-25, students $20-30), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900, ext. 10 or online at www.PlayhouseonPark.org. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

Can a movie critic, one of life's great worriers and watchers, find happiness and love, especially when he has Bogey in the pocket of his three piece buttoned down suit? 

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