The story climaxes several times without forming a solid resolution. In a gimmicky slapstick scene on the room's balcony, the female trio attempts to rescue Ruella. (In the world of time travel, Ruella too can be part of the effort.) This recycled gag smacks of television sitcoms and their cinematic offspring. The play is brimming with miscues of this type, bizarreness for the sake of bizarreness, people disguised as Dickensian ghosts, villains who literally rise from the dead (or at least thrust a hand through the sofa pillows), and a plot contrivance that backfires on itself. For instance Ruella must convince Jessica of her husband's future ill will, so she brings back a note as evidence. The singular credential lies not in his handwriting but his bad spelling.
Although the leather and latex may suggest a risqué production, this is in fact a safe, unchallenging play designed to please wide audiences and offend as few people as possible (except maybe dominatrixes). If Poopay could predict the future, she might have checked out the gun battle in the somewhat dubious area of London, the Strand. Then she -- and we -- might have had a little more fun.
Domination anyone? Bob Rogerson and Tanya Bravo play bad
Directed by David Arisco. Written by Alan Ayckbourn. Starring Tanya Bravo, Bill Perlach, Bob Rogerson, Sandra Ives, and Marcy Ruderhausen. Through February 13.
Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293.
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