Sacramento, CA 95814
The winning aspects of the new show at the B Street Theatre stem not from innovative breakthroughs—there aren’t many—but rather from the pleasing variations that director Buck Busfield and his B Street regulars spring in this romantic comedy.
Kate Fodor’s script involves a pharmaceutical megafirm piloting one new drug designed to counteract workplace depression and a second intended to counteract heartbreak. The laughs involve satire of corporate rules and procedures, an icy, limitlessly-ambitious manager, struggling little people finding meaning in life, and the whole notion of improving your outlook with prescriptions—easy targets, mostly. And there’s an on-and-off love story. And, oh yeah, some confessional scenes in the women’s underwear section at a discount shop.
The fun resides in the side dishes that accompany this accustomed comic entrée. Kurt Johnson is delightful as a disheveled conceptual scientist. Jason Kuykendall displays some slick hair and alternative-comic chops as a facile office opportunist. Leading man Peter Story—who previously specialized in tubby/grubby John Belushi-style comedy—has slimmed down and stakes out some new territory as an actor to go with his new look. Stephanie Altholz does another plucky-woman-down-on-her-luck character, but differentiates this one from the others she’s played recently. Savvy director Buck Busfield juices this two-hour show in clever ways that make it feel faster, funnier and more meaningful than the agile (if conventional) comedy it ultimately is. Its fun, it’s perky, it’s comfy like your favorite shoes—the kind of warm-weather audience-pleaser that’s been a B Street staple for years.