Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Jack Goes Boating
Can it be? The LAByrinth Theater Company, home of dark and brooding plays about dark and brooding people by dark and brooding playwrights, has produced a gentle romantic comedy, and a great one at that? Inconceivable! Bob Glaudini's Jack Goes Boating is not a romantic comedy in the Sleepless in Seattle sense, of course, but its sensibility would seem to be taken from films and plays of that genre. It has moments of dramatic intensity, but at the core of the work, it's heartfelt, sweet-natured and often riotously funny. In the title role, Philip Seymour Hoffman creates a lovable, Marty-esque lug who falls head over heels for an eccentric co-worker of his friend's wife. John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega offer terrific support as the less-than-perfect married couple Jack pals around with, but this production's real find is Beth Cole as the object of affection. She's pitch-perfect, holding her own and stealing the spotlight from the seasoned pros around her. Some of the dramatic arc needs to be tightened up before the show officially opens, but for a very early preview, it's in great shape.