Melanie Griffith and Scott Caan are larger-than-life mother and son in… (Chelsea Sutton )
Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy’s mom. Trouble ensues. This familiar love-hate triangle shapes “No Way Around but Through,” Scott Caan’s linguistically contorted dark comedy now at the Falcon Theatre.
A possible pregnancy means time for 30ish Jacob (Caan) and Holly (Robyn Cohen) to have, you know, The Talk. Too bad Holly’s invisible. As Jacob puts it: “Every time a woman speaks, I see my mother.” Tricky stuff when a man-child’s maternal figure is Lulu (Melanie Griffith), a Valley Medea in 5-inch heels. Griffith’s character here shares the same name as her iconic vixen in 1986’s “Something Wild,” and one can almost imagine this is Lulu 25 years later, abandoned by Jeff Daniels after the excitement died down. Bruised and cunning, Griffith never quite seems to be in the same play as the rest of the ensemble. But you never stop watching her.
Jacob must grow up, but do we want to watch him do it? Something feels wrong when you’d rather follow the B story of Jacob and Holly’s best friends, sex addicts who at least get to the point (and amiably played by Bre Blair and Val Lauren, who also directs). Caan is interested in the limits of language, yet sometimes his muddled, logorrheic lovers suck too much oxygen out their own story and it grinds to a over-analytical halt.
This earnest playwright , a star of CBS'"Hawaii Five-0,"knows something about people, but he should trust his comic instincts more. Feed us more funny and we’ll sit through the soul-baring.
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"No Way Around but Through," Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 8. $35 and $38. (818) 955-8101 or www.FalconTheatre.com Running time: 2 hours.