The Cabrillo Playhouse production of "Come Blow Your Horn" sadly contains none of the sparkle or sensitivity to character that would make the most of the humor in this early Neil Simon play.
"Horn" is Simon at his most uncomplicated, yet given the simple framework, this production fails to fulfill even the most basic of the play's demands. Director Dick Vara has provided few dimensions to the story of two brothers and their attempts to cut the apron strings. In addition, Vara and his cast are consistently out of step with the play's comic rhythm--even the most obvious laugh lines lack punch--and too little care has been taken in developing the characters' relationships.
Further, few in the cast are well-suited to their roles, and, curiously, the characters seem to have very little interest in one another. Alan Price is more kindly uncle than randy bachelor as Alan, the older brother enjoying the single life (sometimes at the expense of his job as a salesman in his father's waxed fruit business). Barbara Hollis brings a good deal of warmth to the role of Connie, Alan's true love, but when Price and Hollis play a scene together, they bear more resemblance to a pleasant pair of settled suburbanites than to contestants in the battle of the sexes. As Buddy, the innocent young man looking to his older brother for advice on the pursuit of the opposite sex, Jeff Neve is unprepossessing, never quite capturing the charm in the role. Gloria Jenson Graham, however, is amusing as the bimbo who lives in the brothers' building.
"Come Blow Your Horn" continues through March 22 at the Cabrillo Playhouse, 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente. For information, call (714) 492-0465