Southern Comfort: James Leynse
October 26, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Southern Comforts

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
10/18/06
performer
Penny Fuller, Larry Keith
director
Judith Ivey
author
Kathleen Clark
We gave it a B+

”I like the way you talk,” says Gus (Larry Keith), an aging widower, to his new love, Amanda (Penny Fuller). After spending 90 minutes in their company, we heartily agree. Eschewing the schmaltz that often accompanies such On Golden Pond-like shows, Kathleen Clark’s two-hander concerns the aforementioned duo: a set-in-his-ways retiree and a vibrant Southern belle, both recovering from the loss of their spouses, as they court in the former’s native New Jersey. While Clark’s writing tends toward sitcom slickness, film/stage luminary Judith Ivey directs with crisp efficiency, slowing the tempo to a naturalistic pace that brings out the best in its marvelous stars. Sincere, warm, and filled with poignant longing, Fuller and Keith wring the maximum worth from every moment and create the most pleasant of diversions…like a cool glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. (Tickets: Ticketcentral.com or 212-279-4200)

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