By William Stevenson
Updated June 02, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

More than a tribute to Mae West, Claudia Shear’s knockout comedy Dirty Blonde is the story of two fans who bond over their love of the bawdy legend. Shear — like West, a self-made star — deftly portrays both Jo (an actress/temp) and West (from youth to indomitable old age). As movie geek Charlie, Kevin Chamberlin nearly upstages his costar. With flawless direction by James Lapine, Dirty Blonde is racy yet heartfelt. Come up and see it sometime. A