Jerry Lewis Won't Bang Ladies in Chicago!

Liza! The gayest night since Stonewall! Some plays are already dead.

The Moroccan terrain beckoned when that country's tourist office had a gala "Red Night" dinner to promote touristry in Marrakesh. Each table had a Lazy Susan topped with native dishes—I spun it around like a kid with a dangerous toy—and for dessert, Anjelica Huston took the stage to gush, "It's the most romantic city! Book your flights!" And suddenly I realized why Marrakesh needs the p.r. right now: Sex and the City II was filmed there!

The U.K. might need some help now that The Pitmen Painters turns out to be a disappointingly formulaic tale about real-life Brit miners who learned to mine their creative skills. Act One is too cute, with the miners emitting one-liners like Friars comics. And Act Two turns them into preachy bores, spouting fiery ideals about art and identity. Some sledgehammer acting and lines like, "Art isn't enough. You have to go out into the world and change things!" make this craftily made entertainment for the masses a headache for those above ground.

More appealingly, Cherry Jones does British in Mrs. Warren's Profession, raging in fancy hats against daughter Sally Hawkins in defense of her fabulous whoring. To me, tough-talking Cherry seems to be doing Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley, occasionally channeling the inflections of Ruth Gordon, who played the part in the '70s, while tiny Sally gets to break free of chirpiness and play a combative upstart who prefers nurture to nature. The heated result falls short of electrifying, but Cherry has a great monologue, and all the peppy backtalk about the pros and cons of love for sale certainly helps drown out the "Miss Minnelli" twink.

musto@villagevoice.com

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