One of the Off Broadway's Season's funniest; Save Grand Central, Comedy by William Hamilton. Directed by Gene Saks.
| New York
This play joined "Sorrows of Stephen" and "Table Settings" as one of the most amusing comedies of the Off Broadway season. The well-tempered new entertainment at the Marymount Manhattan Theater was written by the man whose New Yorker magazine cartoons satirize the well-heeled, well-connected worldlings of an affluent society. Aided by Gene Sak's direction, several adroit performances, and some flexible settings by Lawrence King, the transfer from page to stage has preserved and amplified the wry Hamiltonian observation.
The subjects of "Save of Grand Central" are two mismatched couples. Lucy Maynard (Linda Atkinson), who makes a career of causeworthy committees, is married to Roger Maynard (Remark Ramsay), a right-wing lawyer. Roger, whose principal cause is the acquisition of desirable real estate, believes that "more money is what money is for. Money is life's report card." He also likes to show off his nonexpertise in two or three languages.
To the Maynard's party in aid of Lucy's Fresh Start Foundation come architect Charles Malcolm (Michael Ayr) and his titled Italian wife, Cristina (Jill eikenberry). It happens that Malcolm has just sunk all of Cristina's capital in a gourmet French restaurant called (naturally) Le Corbusier.
From these Upper East Side Elements, Mr. Hamilton develops a series of sketchy, questionable situations that draw Lucy and Malcolm irresistibly together. And whom should the volatile Cristina turn to in her financial and marital plight but the mastermind of Colonial Properties, good old reliable Roger. The two couples are scarcely more than puppets in the hands of puppeteer hamilton. He rearranges relationships almost as fast as Roger would snap up an option or foreclose a lease. Roger, in fact, has had his eye on Le Corbusier as an ideal site for a Burger King.
In keeping with he nature of such slight and frivolous comedies of manners, some of the jokes are better than others. Some are perhaps overworked. But the fine cast assembled by the Phoenix Theater makes the lightest possible work of the unweighty matters in hand. And don't forget Evelyn Mercado and Luis Avalos as two savvy Hispanic domestics. Yes, Virginia, some people do still have domestics. Comprende?