TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY
Being something of an addict for the classicHollywoodperiod, this play reminds me in more ways than one of a Hal Roach Studio offering in 1940 of a film entitled ‘Turnabout’ which starred John Hubbard and Carole Landis. In a similar circumstance, the two characters undergo a change of sex and all the consequences which come with it. In addition, there was a short lived TV series in 1979 under the same title with John Schuck and Sharon Gless .
In this version, at the Pasadena Playhouse currently, with the production ‘Under My Skin’ you get a much broader sense and a more comical one as the plot unravels when the two characters, effectively portrayed by Erin Cardillo and Matt Walton, are killed in an elevator accident and emerge into each other’s bodies.
The laughs abound from the very start and it gets pretty racy as each get the feeling how it feels to be put into the body of the other as they are confronted by the opposite sex.
There is a lot of psychological and physical ramifications here which becomes almost a textbook of the interplay between the sexes.
Erin Cardillo does quite well as she emotes as a man in men’s clothes (something of a shame since she exhibited a nice figure beforehand) and Matt Walton is superlative as he never slips from his masculine persona and grasp of his character in spite of being forced to wear a dress most of the show. But the real stand out has to be Megan Sikora as she takes full advantage in the part as Nanette and shakes, rattles and rolls every chance she gets and would almost be booked on a 502 (for overacting, thanks to the coinage by Stan Freburg) if she wasn’t a consummate professional. This was well exhibited in her Ovation Awards nominated performance in ‘Curtains’ a few years ago.
Also, we cannot overlook Hal Linden being brought out from moth balls to provide just the right amount of spice to augment the proceedings.
Casting was well chosen for all the cast throughout.
If fault is to be found, it must be said that the second half could have been abbreviated a bit with a little less plot manipulations. I found myself getting somewhat impatient with all this and was starting to eye the exit door.
But I am sure that my mention of this will go largely unheeded and a good time will be had by all.
Direction was by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and the wonderfully creative set design by John Lacovelli
Performances are through Oct. 7 at 8, except Sundays at 7, with matinees at 4, Saturday and 2, Sunday. 626.356.7529….www.pasadenaplayhouse.org