Amphitryon '96

Heavenly Days

By John Glines
Directed by Peter Pope
The Glines
Grove St. Playhouse (924-1198)
39 Grove St. (open-ended run)
Non-union production
Review by John Attanas

The 20th-anniversary production of The Glines is Heavenly Days, a comedy written by the company's co-founder and leading light, John Glines.

Heavenly Days takes place in the present day on the Greek island of Mykonos, and deals with what happens when Greek gods come down to earth to interact with a gay American couple. The god Zeus is a gay sexual athlete who claims to have ``gone down on everything but the Titanic.'' His sights are set on Mark, an N.Y.U. student Zeus describes as ``heaven on the half-shell.'' The problem is that Mark has a lover named Brian, whom he is vacationing with. As a result, Zeus enlists the help of Hermes, who comes up with a plan where Zeus takes the outward appearance of Brian in order to sleep with Mark. After this occurs, however, Zeus decides that he must be accepted by Mark as himself, and not in the guise of another.

Heavenly Days is a very interesting play. It is one part gay sex comedy, and one part philosophical discussion, with a good chunk of Greek mythology thrown in. On the whole, the writing is fairly good. While some of the jokes are flat, many are hysterical; but there are unfortunately too few in Act Two, where the play leans heavily on philosophy and loses the drama that it needs to keep it moving forward. That said, it is an entertaining work, and quite enjoyable.

The production of Heavenly Days was very well done. Smoothly directed by Peter Pope, the piece never dragged. However, a bit more movement on stage wouldn't have hurt the show.

The performers were all more than competent. Standing out were Michael McLernon, who showed a nice range in the roles of Zeus and Brian. Also quite appealing was George Hahn, who was hysterical as Boots, the trashy chef, who it later turns out had some dealings with Zeus in a previous life. D. Matt Crabtree and James F. Stanley, in the roles of Mark and Hermes, also acquitted themselves nicely.

The set by Peter Pope was lovely to look at; and in tandem with David Jensen's well-done lighting helped the production a great deal. Jenny Lombard's costumes were appropriately colorful; and Thomas Hasselwander's score was quite tuneful.

On the whole, catching a performance of Heavenly Days is not a bad way to spend a heavenly summer evening.

Box Score:
Writing 1
Directing 1
Acting 1
Set 2
Costumes 1
Lighting/Sound 1
Copyright 1996 John Attanas

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