To B&B or Not to B&B

Desperate houseguests join bed-and-breakfast club

Kari Floren's fast-paced relationship comedy begins, appropriately enough, on the porch of a bed-and-breakfast with a ruggedly handsome innkeeper named Lee and his three new arrivals: Ramona, an uppity, high-powered forensics expert newly dumped by her fiancé; Jean, a repeat runaway bride who's having second thoughts about her recent engagement; and Ziad, Jean's fun-loving gay best friend. Lee, an alcoholic loner, portrayed with a deep convincing sadness by Don Harvey, tries to get rid of his guests, mentioning a mysterious "emergency." But when the women refuse to go (they did have a long drive, after all), a battle begins.

Details

The Porch
By Kari Floren
Altered Stages
212 West 29th Street 212-279-4200

Despite some surprise twists, Floren's female characters are too predictable. On the warpath against all men, Ramona, played with an over-the-top vicious intensity by Shirley Roeca, torments Lee with verbal abuse until he just has to kiss her. After they spend the night together, the beastly Ramona is suddenly tamed and offers her money to help him out. Sure, love isn't perfect, but Ramona should be smarter than this. Meanwhile, Jean (Lauren Mufson) wishes she could marry Ziad (Javier Muñoz) but ultimately settles for her middling fiancé. Director Michael Berry deftly keeps the action moving. Unfortunately, what this comedy lacks is something (anything!) to laugh about.

 
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