Arts » Theater

Homage to 1920s British musical comedies in The Boy Friend

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Raleigh Little Theatre's The Boy Friend, directed by Haskell Fitz-Simons, promises to be a spoof of British musical comedies of the 1920s. It's more homage than spoof: young lovers cavorting in southern France, old flames comically reunited, wealthy Englishmen parading around on the beach and at costumed balls, and a light, jazzy musical score with plenty of opportunities to dance the Charleston. If you enjoy this sort of thing, you'll probably like the play.

The plot is slight and inoffensive, essentially revolving around whether or not aristocratic Polly Browne will have a date to the ball. For the first two acts, it often feels like it's going to build up into a farce, and there are certainly plenty of opportunities for the mixed-up identities, wacky miscommunication and slapstick hijinks characteristic of the best farces. Things never quite get there, however, instead wrapping up more or less on their own.

The characters are broadly drawn: bumbling Percival Browne (John Adams), stumbling upon love in his old age; airheads Maisie (Sarah Winter) and Bobby (Misha Nikitine); the instantly-in-love Polly (Sarah Moore) and Tony (Joshua Broadhurst). The best is Tony's father, Lord Brockhurst (Tony Hefner), a perverted old horndog who gets all the best lines but hardly enough time on stage.

The musical numbers, directed by Julie Florin, are the best part, and keep the plot from dragging too much. The dancing is good, too, especially from the leads.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Burning up."

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