Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsComedy

Stage Review : Comedy Of 'Scotch And Milk' Doesn't Quite Mix

December 12, 1986|ROBERT KOEHLER

We have to pull for the members of a ghetto family in Gerry Daly's "Scotch and Milk," determined to con some way out of their miserable hellhole of a neighborhood. It takes imagination to come up with the idea of buying into a ritzy white section of town (in this case, Detroit) on the basis of an initial down payment, then scaring your neighbors with such antisocial behavior that in stirring up their elitist, racist attitudes, it spurs them to buy you out. No one gets hurt, really, and you come out of it with a tidy profit--enough, eventually, to buy into a really great suburb.

Only one problem, though: Mom (Paula Rice) has scruples, and if she makes it--and she wants to in the biggest way--she's going to make it honestly. Daly has the blueprint of a snappy, insightful comedy here, one that could combine moral debate with a fresh look at what racism has wrought. But a blueprint is not a building, and "Scotch and Milk," under Cepheus Jaxon's direction at the Inglewood Playhouse, has much to develop before it can be called a real comedy. Daly's script suffers from TV-style setups, pontificating, protracted exposition and a strained, unpolished conclusion. Ironies are in the fire, but we don't have anything we can take home with us when the troubling ideas just under the surface--how the free market brings out the nastiness in people, for instance--never get the comic dimensions they deserve.

The cast, helmed by Chuck Lyles as the family's conniving grandfather, is still grounding itself with their characters, and ragged timing and several lost lines is the result. It's difficult to tell whether Phil Lewis' set is painted in horribly clashing colors as another acid comment on the landlord or whether the family wanted it that way.

Performances at Centinela Park, Warren Lane and Park Avenue, Inglewood, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays, 3 p.m.; ends Jan. 4.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|