Duo always watchable in Little Theater’s ‘Loves’

The major reasons to see Las Vegas Little Theatre’s “How the Other Half Loves” are Barbara King and Gary Lunn. She plays a well-heeled, well-spoken proper English woman who’s having an affair. He’s her often befuddled husband, the sort who goes about looking for a coat that he’s already wearing.

The two keep terrible secrets from one another, and, in less capable hands, an audience might wonder why they stay together. But the actors communicate the details of the relationship — the affection, the annoyances, the comforts. And that’s what makes the preposterous things that happen to them feel genuine.

Alan Ayckbourn’s 1971 Broadway drawing-room comedy has a clever conceit: Two families occupy the same stage space, even though it represents two separate dwellings. The plot turns are what you’d expect: mistaken identities, misunderstood motives, physical mayhem — all solved in the end by the power of romance.

The story description put me in the mood to laugh, but I left the theater wishing I’d laughed more. The second act, thanks in large part to director Rob Kastil’s superb pacing, is appropriately loony, but the first is slow and stuffed with one-liners that too often have little spark.

Too many performers make entrances that seem to announce, “I am going to be funny.” They don’t seem to trust that their characterizations will bring laughs. There’s a climactic moment when King’s character realizes her husband has no idea what is really going on. The payoff is King’s reaction. But Kastil stages the moment so that King’s back is to us. It goes by quickly, but it’s a major mistake, and it hints that Kastil isn’t on top of the material’s demands.

You can see, though, that John Pinelli, as a well-meaning but simple “commoner,” easily could be a major comic force. And Shawn Hackler, as the middle-class man who loves his wife as much as he loves to fight with her, is a likable, easy-going presence (which is a huge contrast to the intense work he often does for the Insurgo Movement Theatre). When the action grows thin, there’s always King and Lunn to watch, both of whom are marvels at fleshing out screwball temperaments.

Ron Lindblom gives us an elegant and rich set — superbly accented by jody Caley’s lighting — suggesting not only different classes of people, but different mindsets. The technical work gives the script an extra layer of logic and humor.

Anthony Del Valle can be reached at DelValle@aol.com. You can write him c/o Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Glittering Lights Dazzles Las Vegas
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like