`Coming of Age': a bizarre comedy

Coming of Age in SoHo Play by Albert Innaurato. Directed by the author. For an Albert Innaurato character, reaching maturity could be expected to involve elements of the bizarre, the outrageous, and even the repugnant. In these respects, Mr. Innaurato's ``Coming of Age in SoHo'' fulfills expectations.

The hero of this wildly gyrating comedy is Bartholomew (better known as ``Beatrice'') Dante, a New Yorker transplanted from South Philadelphia via Princeton University. To escape married life with a Mafia chieftain's daughter and, if possible, to recapture his vanished writing talent, the homosexual Beatrice has fled with his typewriter to a loft in Manhattan's SoHo district. Before he can resolve his career and personal crises, the neurotic author must cope with assorted intruders. These include his importunate, foul-mouthed mate (who dubs him ``Peter Panic''); her avenging brothers; a teen-age runaway; and a child prodigy named Puer, who turns out to be the son Beatrice fathered by a German terrorist.

Mr. Innaurato spins out his comic fantasy in two erratic acts. Beatrice resists the temptation to seduce the teen-age truant, which doesn't make his contemplation of the possibility any the less unsavory. That Mr. Innaurato foresees Beatrice's reclamation as stemming in part from the relationship with his newfound son seems more sentimentally wishful than credible. But it is on a par with the rest of ``Coming of Age.''

As Beatrice, John Procaccino more than fulfills the demands of author-director Innaurato. Mr. Procaccino is a master of the hang-dog look. Little Puer, the computer whiz kid, is beguilingly acted by Ward Saxton, and Scott DeFreitas does well as the prodigal who finally calls home. Loren Sherman's bare setting looks out on a New York skyline, lighted by James F. Ingalls. Ann Emonts costumed the production.

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