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Last Chance

September 26, 2002|Don Shirley

Theater

The Lover and The Collection --Harold Pinter's "The Collection" and "The Lover" were first presented on television in 1961 and 1963, respectively, before they were converted into short stage plays. Detailing sexual role-playing and power games, with plenty of Pinter's early sense of mystery lurking in the corners, they were televised in England when most of America was watching TV westerns and "The Beverly Hillbillies." "The Lover" depicts a proper English suburban home in which the wife (Susan Priver) has scheduled afternoon sessions with a lover. We quickly realize, however, that the "lover," Max (Henry Olek), is really the husband, and that he's increasingly restive in the role. "The Collection" is about two couples whose boundaries are temporarily porous, as one man accuses another of sleeping with his wife, much to the consternation of the alleged seducer's older gay lover and mentor. In the Fridays and Sundays cast, David Purdham and Brian Foyster are excellent as the snide older man and his suggestive, androgynous housemate. Colin McCabe and Yvette Brooks are somewhat less successful as the aggrieved husband and manipulative wife.

Don Shirley

Ends Sunday at the Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 856-4200.

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Also closing this weekend:

Amy's View--David Hare's engrossing story of the gradual chastening of an imperious English stage diva (Carol Lawrence), her mediating daughter Amy (Susan Egan) and Amy's cocky and theater-hating beau (John Berczeller) ends Sunday at the International City Theatre at Center Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 436-4610.

Animal Farm--Peter Hall's adaptation of the George Orwell classic, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell, ends Sunday at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, (310) 455-3723.

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