An occasional update of New York Cith theater openings
* Loose Lips (Triad, 158 W. 72nd St.): A new comic revue staged by Martin Charnin, conceived by Kurt Anderson (former editor of Spy Magazine), Lisa Birnbach (author of "The Official Preppy Handbook" ), and Jamie Malanowski. A six-member cast, dubbed "The National Transcript Players," reenacts actual conversations and remarks taken from such sources as broadcast outtakes, congressional investigations, FBI wiretaps, and court transcripts. Some of the material is familiar, most is not (Orson Welles throwing a temper tantrum during a TV commercial shoot; Richard Nixon chatting with a camera crew prior to a speech). Unfortunately, the idea is better than the execution, with many of the segments falling flat. Still, there are laughs to be had, and notable stars will be serving as temporary guest hosts. Next up is Bebe Neuwirth.
* Dates and NutS (Theatre Off Park): Gary Lennon's romantic comedy (already sold to the movies) details the personal travails of Eve, a young Brooklyn woman looking for love in all the wrong places. She thinks she's finally found the real thing with Al, but, sure enough, there are complications. The play is predictable stuff, but there are funny lines about the ever-maddening singles scene, and it's made fresh by the charming cast, including Terumi Matthews and Mark Nassar.
* John & Jen (Lambs Theatre): Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald's new chamber musical (two performers, three musicians), follows the lives of several family members over four decades. The work has serious things in mind, but it's simply too low-key for its own good, and isn't able to support a sharp swing towards melodrama. The talented young performers, James Ludwig and Carolee Carmello, act their hearts out, despite being hampered by the awkwardness of the material and the staging. Although the music and lyrics are fairly enjoyable, too much of it washes over us with no discernible effect.