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Bob Goepfert Reviews "You Should Be So Lucky"

New Lebanon - “You Should Be So Lucky,” a farce playing at the Theater Barn in New Lebanon through Sunday, is proof that to be totally satisfying a comedy needs more than a funny premise.

The production is very funny when showing what happens to the very shy Christopher when he inherits $10 million from a casual acquaintance.   

Christopher who is an agoraphobic gay man finds himself a celebrity because of his appearance on a television talk show.  He appears on the show to defend himself from Lenore, his mentor’s aggressive daughter, who isn’t satisfied with only half her father’s money.

During his battles with Lenore, Christopher develops self-confidence and learns to cope with his overbearing actress sister Polly, who is a drama queen of the highest order. Most of all he finds the ability to commit to Walter, an insecure man who is worth loving.

Unfortunately, once the plot is established playwright Busch abandons the frantic farcical style of the work.  The result is what was an over-the-top physical comedy turns into a predictable talky-comedy with little bite.

Daniel Dunlow is wonderful as Christopher.   He has a gift for physical comedy and a delicious sense of comic timing that makes his dynamic performance a delight.  Dunlow offers a complex look at a simple man for whom you want only the best things to happen. 

Others in the highly energetic cast are good when the script allows, but most fail to find the emotional honesty beneath the outlandish behavior of their characters.

Director Phil Rice skillfully builds the comic pace of the first act adding a lot of visual comedy to the proceedings.  And he almost redeems act two with a final scene that is so funny it makes you realize what had been missing from the entire act. 

“You Should Be So Lucky,” is playing at Theater Barn, on Route 20, in New Lebanon through July 6. Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. At 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $23-$25. For more information call 794-8989

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