- Terelle Jerricks
By John Farrell
Fuddy Meers is a strange hybrid of a play–a comedy full of errors and disguises, and a tragedy–at least on one level.
At the Long Beach Playhouse, Fuddy Meers is played mostly for laughs, and it gets them. But the emotional disconnect that the characters should feel is hidden. You end up leaving the theater having had a good time. But for the thoughtful, only later do you recognize that the story has no real heart.
The story is about Claire (Rachel Levy) who has the kind of amnesia that causes her, from one day to another, to forget everything. Everyday is new for her. She seems to have a loving husband Richard (Tom Juarez) who helps her through each day.
One this particular day, though, she is kidnapped by a limping man in a mask (the oily Steven Alan Carver) and she finds herself in a mystery that plays out over two fast-moving acts that she will not remember when she wakes the next day. There is her mother Gertie (Geraldine D. Fuentes) who has survived a stoke but can no longer talk straight. There is Millet (Bob Fetes) an innocent who has a puppet he cherishes that does all the swearing for him, her son Kenny (Michael Dougherty) and a policewoman named Heidi (Stephanie Schulz). In the world she inhabits, everything is different from what it seems. See the play to work out the comic and horrible details.
But don’t expect apotheosis. This a is a cruel comedy without a good outcome, and you’ll have a foul taste in your mouth when it is over. You’ll laugh: these are fine performers and director Robert Craig keeps it moving, though not quite quick enough. But you will not be satisfied. The play doesn’t have an ending. Maybe that’s what playwright David Lindsay-Abaire intended, but it’s still a disappointment.
Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors, $14 for students. Performances are Friday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through Nov. 24.
Details: (562) 494-1014, www.lbplayhouse.org
Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theater
Location: 5021 E. Anaheim, Long Beach