Chapter Two

Rated 3.0

Nice show, and well-acted. Just wish the script, by Neil Simon, had more to say. The story—about a writer who’s grieving for his late wife, then meets an actress and falls in love again—parallels events in Simon’s life. But for a play that’s theoretically autobiographical, it’s not very self-revealing. Fortunately, the leads (Martin Laine Noufer, Michele Hillen) have a field day with Simon’s trademark one-liners, including some funny phone romance. And Hillen has a fine scene when the relationship comes close to a breakup (eerily paralleling her recent performance as Desdemona in Othello.) The playwright actually gives many of the show’s best scenes to the supporting actors (Mary Beth Barber and Sean Morneau in this case), whose efforts to “help” the central romance generate funny situations.
Stage Nine Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday; $20-$22. 777 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 353-1001, Through June 10.