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Review: Love's circular course charted in 'The Boomerang Effect'

June 13, 2013|By F. Kathleen Foley
  • Tiffany Lonsdale and Malcolm Barrett in "The Boomerang Effect."
Tiffany Lonsdale and Malcolm Barrett in "The Boomerang Effect." (Ed Krieger )

A reprise of a 2012 production at the Odyssey, Matthew Leavitt’s “The Boomerang Effect,” now at the Zephyr, is a comic romp produced by Del Shores and featuring many of the original cast. Veteran director Dámaso Rodriguez once again helms the proceedings, which are engaging but indubitably “lite” – no misspelling intended.

A sort of “La Ronde” for millennials, the play is a somewhat retro sex comedy about the romantic travails of five couples, from a slacker bag boy who has just learned that his girlfriend is pregnant to an older executive who cunningly beds his younger female associate with promises of promotion. The scenes, five in number, are then reversed and repeated, culminating in various denouements ranging from the humorous to the bittersweet.

These “episodes” -- really a series of disparate playlets -- are linked in a cursory fashion. Characters in one scene will mention a character that will be introduced in the next -- a rickety framework that nonetheless supports a surprising load of fun.

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As the crises and contretemps are all sexual in nature, the action is appropriately centered in John Iacovelli’s amusingly generic bedroom set – the hub for plenty of kvetching and canoodling. Brian Gale’s lighting design and Doug Newell’s sound design are also first-rate.

Among the nimble cast, Malcolm Barrett garners more than his fair share of laughs as a man turned off by his significant other’s vapid chatter during sex, and Charles Howerton is drolly dour as an aging executive who decides to have one last amoral and flagrantly manipulative fling on a business trip to Des Moines.

Rodriguez, who is taking over the artistic directorship of Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre, leaves Los Angeles on a lighthearted note with this crisply executed production, which may not be deathless drama but delivers plenty of uncomplicated fun.

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“The Boomerang Effect,” Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Ends July 27. $20-$25. (800) 595-4849. www.tix.com. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

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