Allan FelixJeffrey P. Gastauer
NancyToni Gomez
BogeyPeter Benson
Dick ChristiePatrick Robertson
Linda ChristieAngie Stillwell
Dream SharonKat Vaughan
Sharon LakeYvonne Fisher
GinaJessica Umhoefer
VanessaAndrea Mardon
Go-Go GirlJade Carmelie Ducote
Intellectual GirlLani Kroopnick
BarbaraJennifer Taylor

'Play It Again, Sam' pokes fun at dating dilemmas

Theater Review by Pat Kumpan, Community Editor

"Play It Again, Sam," now being presented by the Poway Performing Arts Company, is the perfect way for audiences to shake off any winter-time blues, while seasoned Thespians have fun with Woody Allen's light-hearted poke at divorce and adult relationships.

Much of the mood focuses on newly divorced Allan Felix, played with the right touch of nerdiness by Jeffrey P. Gastauer. With his bow tie askew, a dazed, be-spectacled look, he has an underlying charm that might not be razzle-dazzle, but somehow reminds us of the boy next door.

Ex-wife Nancy, Toni Gomez, justifies her exit with, "I don't find you fun. I don't have any rapport with you," returning occasionally to taunt her ex with her new-found escapades - and loves.

Finding solace only in old movies, Allan retreats to a favorite Bogart flick. soon he "sees" and "hears" Bogey giving some straight-from-the-hip advice on how to treat and cope with women. Heck, without anyone else to turn to, why not listen?

"Dames are simple," offers Bogart. "I didn't meet a dame who didn't respond to a slap in the face." Peter Benson's Bogey persona adds whimsy and grit to Allan's "vision."

Allan isn't certain about such abrupt tactics, but as he quizzes Bogart. "Is insufficient laughter grounds for divorce?"

Best friends Linda and Dick Christie come to Allan's emotional rescue, urging him to date and enjoy life. The search for the right girl, the unraveling of the Christies' marriage, and reminders of life in the '60s will add up to some flash-backs for the audience. Patrick Robertson and Angie Stillwell add backbone and on-the-mark comic timing.

Will Allan listen to Bogey's advice? Will he find the right woman? Will Dick leave his wife or invest more time in his business? Giving the answers without seeing the play spoils the fun.

Kat Vaughan, Yvonne Fisher, Jessica Umhoefer, Andrea Mardon, Jade Carmelie Ducote, Lani Kroopnick and Jennifer Taylor round out the cast. They, director Jay Mower, and all the crew, should take a well-deserved bow for a quality production that delivers just what it promises - laughter.

PowPAC members responsible for building the set and new performing area should take two bows for creating a new home that is something to be proud of.

"Play It Again, Sam," continues at PowPAC, 13250 Poway Road in the Lively Center on weekends, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.. sundays at 2 p.m. throught Feb. 11. With sold-out performances the first week, reservations are suggested. Call 679-8085.