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The Tale of the Allergist's Wife

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The Tale of the Allergist's Wife

Current Status:
In Season
Valerie Harper, Rhea Perlman
Lynne Meadow
Charles Busch

We gave it an A-

The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, a story of a Jewish Manhattan couple and the mysterious old friend who pops back into their lives, boasts some high-sitcom humor and the perfect cast: Michele Lee (the sexy friend), Tony Roberts (the clueless husband), and especially Linda Lavin. She steals the show as a book-loving urban housewife in a deep depression, Ida Morgenstern (Rhoda’s mom) with a taste for Kafka. Lavin can punctuate the jokes while shading in the pain — it’s a great performance. Playwright Charles Busch (Vampire Lesbians of Sodom) successfully mainstreams the tricks he developed during his days in what you might call drag-queen theater: a flash of flesh, a potty mouth, a sudden goose into makeshift melodrama. (How the play gets from suppository jokes to international terrorism is beyond ready comprehension.) Busch has fashioned a definite theatrical miracle: a comedy about the meaning of life that’s essentially meaningless, yet it all works beautifully. A-