Theatre on the Square
Directed by Ron Spencer
Through Dec. 9
Straight Jacket is a campy little show set in 1955 Hollywood. Guy Stone is a rising star with two problems: He’s gay and he can’t keep his shorts on. For 1955, this is a serious detriment to his career. When photos surface of him in a compromising position with another man, his manager and producer decide that in order to keep the paparazzi off his tail, he needs to get married — to a star-struck, ditzy secretary. And, as they say, hilarity ensues.
While the entire story is slightly over the top — the last third of the show is pure cheese — the majority of the production doesn’t cross too far over the believability line. Josh Ramsey as Stone is a likeable man-whore, which is an accomplishment given that he’s playing a self-centered movie star. Eric J. Olson, as his main interest, writer Rick Foster, is a sweet foil for Stone’s narcissism. Manager Jerry, played by Cindy Phillips, is a great hard-ass as a woman in what was predominantly a man’s career. Michael Feruzza Rick, as producer Saul, is a typically blustery sort, and Rebecca McConnell as Stone’s wife Sally is left to be dingy. Finishing off the cast is Michael Halliburton as various characters and “tricks.”
Individually, the cast is solid, but the ensemble didn’t gel. Funny situations and dialogue don’t spark as much as they could. Director Ron Spencer’s pacing and timing are fine, but that elusive element didn’t show up to make the show a whole last Saturday night.
The setting is sufficiently 1950s — be sure to check out the movie posters with the double entendre titles. Costuming for Sally, by Stephen R. Hollenbeck, is stunning — all yards of fabric and crinolines straight out of a 1950s ad for detergent.
Fun if not memorable, Straight Jacket continues at Theatre on the Square through Dec. 9, Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25, and $15 for students, military and seniors. Call TOTS, 627 Massachusetts Ave., at 317-685-TOTS for reservations."