We are all "in between" something as life goes by. We're between birth and death; between puberty and adulthood; between jobs; between singleness and commitment--well, you know. The delightful romantic comedy Somewhere In Between, playing through January 28 at the Boise Little Theater, gives us a chance to look at our lives, think about what we are seeking and what we really want, while we laugh at one man's successes and failures.
Directed with clever staging and lively humor by Kevin Kimsey, the large cast dives into the adventures of Jasper, a 29-year-old in New York City who can't quite get his life together. He is in a job he hates, taking complaints about network television shows from callers. He wants to be a writer, has no love life and his social skills are, to say the least, inept. John Myers, a regular at Stage Coach Theatre as well as BLT, gives a riveting and energetic performance, from his long prologue in complete darkness to his short epilogue. He is utterly charming in his nervous, klutzy attempts at picking up girls, always following the wrong advice. The only problem with Myers' performance is that he starts at such a high level it is hard for him to build his intensity as the play goes along. But the character of Jasper is made for his talents, which include great pantomime skills and impeccable comic timing.
Poor Jasper. Whatever can go wrong in his life, does. He gets stuck in an elevator with a painfully cheerful Robert McDiarmid, who goes berserk when he realizes he is trapped. His boss is portrayed by Don Walker as a brusque, pompous jerk, and Jasper clumsily insults the office vamp, played by Elizabeth Hackett, who has the longest legs west of the Hudson River and shows them off in the shortest, tightest skirts allowed in public.
Sexy Valerie (Becky Lee Jaynes) picks him up in a bookstore only to turn the whole episode into a nightmare when her boyfriend, played by Melvin Spelvin (alias the director), shows up. Even taking a subway becomes a hassle when Jasper tries to give directions to a saucy French tourist, adorably portrayed by Geneva Stevahn. Cameo performances by Lora Volkert as a bookish lawyer, Andrew Kelly Bickford as a construction worker and Rachel Santoro as an actress further enliven the show, and Randy Webster is hilarious and moving as the homeless man who is a great booster for New York City.
When Jasper does meet the woman who could be Miss Right, you know the courtship will not go smoothly, but Stacey Greenberg makes Holly a girl worth fighting for. She is sweet but feisty and skillfully shows the inner fire her character manages to conceal. With such a rich feast of characters, the show whizzes by, and the second act is even funnier than the first. On Jasper's first dinner date with Holly, they are surrounded by couples bickering and discussing embarrassing subjects. A steamy and aggressive seduction between Steve Martin and Nova Calverley, while seated "sedately" at the next table, really steals the scene and has the audience in hysterics.
Somewhere In Between proves that well-written and well-acted romantic comedies make theater-going a pleasure hard to equal in these days of unfettered sex and violence.
Somewhere In Between, written by Craig Pospisil, directed by Kevin Kimsey for Boise Little Theater, 100 E. Fort St. 8 p.m. Thur.-Sat., Jan. 19-21, 26-28; 7:30 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 25; 2 p.m. Sun., Jan.22. $10; $9 groups of 6 or more; $8 Wed. and Sun. and for seniors, students on Thur. For reservations, call 342-5104 or visit www.boiselittletheater.org. (Recommended for mature audiences.)