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TWEAK THOSE HEARTSTRINGS : 'Tribute' Makes No Appologies For Its Sentimentality


Bernard Slade's "Tribute" makes no apologies for its sentimentality. This play about a father who never grew up, and his son who never acted like a kid, is designed to tweak if not downright yank at the heartstrings.

It can get pretty mawkish as we watch dying screenwriter Scottie Templeton come to terms with son Jud during a last summer together. Nonetheless, "Tribute" was a popular play on Broadway during the 1978 season, was made into a movie starring Jack Lemmon, and continues to thrive at small theaters across the country.

At the Garden Grove Community Theatre director Gregory Cohen capitalizes on the play's most accessible aspect--a lively, almost vaudevillian streak of humor--and despite a few flaws on opening night (some blown lines, mainly), Cohen's cast gave us a likable, diverting show.

"Tribute" rises or sinks with the characterization of Scottie, as actor Joshua Kaye is fully aware. Kaye is a little overeager to please, but still is able to show Scottie's almost perverse love of life and his need to connect with his son.

As Jud, Philip de Souza holds back a lot, which is right for the role. It's a quiet performance that gets a bit noisier as Jud grows from an introvert to (almost) an extrovert. And Tekla Ackelson is especially good as Sally Haines, Scottie's spunky neighbor who gets romantically involved with Jud.

What "Tribute" by Bernard Slade.

When Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through July 28. Matinee at 2 on Sunday.

Where The Garden Grove Community Theatre in Eastgate Park, 12001 St. Mark St., Garden Grove.

Whereabouts Garden Grove Freeway to the Valley View Street exit. Head north to Chapman Avenue and go left. Chapman ends at Eastgate Park.

Wherewithal $5 and $6.

Where to call (714) 897-5122.

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