Theatre on the Square
Directed by Ron Spencer
"Avow," which first ran off-Broadway in 2000, looks at nontraditional marriage through very traditional theater. Life partners Brian (J. Nicholas Shoemaker) and Tom (Ryan Powell) have found the liberal priest of their dreams, but even he can't marry them. Father Raymond (David Pittman) explains the importance of obedience so convincingly that Tom reconsiders his life with Brian. Does being a man of God mean being a man alone? The priest grapples with the same question through a growing flirtation with Brian's sister Irene. Playwright Bill C. Davis ("Mass Appeal") has fun with church rituals and doctrine without belittling them. Along with the jokes about a celibacy support group called Courage, there is real compassion for two men struggling to be true to their ideals. If the play sounds deep, I've gone too far. "Avow" is a romantic comedy buoyed by sweet if contrived characters. The cluttered three tier set would have worked better with two levels, but the focus here is the cast, mostly unsophisticated yet enjoyable. Carrie Bennett Fedor is the fast-talking, single-pregnant concert pianist who falls for married men and priests. Vonda Fuhrmann, the mom in "Jewtopia," brings her good comedic timing to the role of Catholic mom Rose who, in her own way, is attracted to the priesthood.
Through April 10; 685-TOTS, www.tots.org.