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Regrets Only

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Regrets Only, Christine Baranski

We gave it a C

When it comes to sending up the New York elite, playwright Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey) is pretty much known as the go-to quipmeister. More recently, he is also known for letting loose his flurry of funny in projects that always seem dramatically undernourished (2004’s Valhalla), and Regrets Only just furthers that opinion. The wind-up is effective: A bitchy fashion designer (George Grizzard), who has recently lost his life partner, is best buds with a glam lady-who-lunches (Christine Baranski, pictured), whose staunchly conservative husband (David Rasche) and daughter (Diane Davis) are right-wing lawyers who happen to be helping our current President determine what constitutes a marriage. Not surprisingly, gays are left in the lurch, so they, in turn, decide to do the same to everyone else… and go on strike. Wackiness ensues! There’s good stuff here — a joke about how Broadway has nearly gone dim is dead-on — and the play breezes along, but that’s precisely the problem. We get a hazy breeze, but a stiff wind would be better. (Stage pros Baranski and Grizzard do, however, deliver the lines with brio.) Rudnick is always better when he’s brutal, and his foray into gooey sentimentality about the sorry state of America doesn’t jibe with acid observations about the socialite set. It’s like slashing someone’s face and immediately offering them a Band-Aid. (Tickets: 212-581-1212)

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