Theater review: "Boy Meets Boy"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The title "Boy Meets Boy" implies much of what you need to know about the 1975 musical by Donald Ward and Billy Solly.

Emulating the vintage comedies of stage and screen in its love triangle and mistaken-identity plot, "Boy" departs from tradition by being set in an alternate 1936 universe where gay marriage is matter-of-fact.

Evolution Theatre Company's revival, staged with assistance from its original creators, succeeds only fitfully but achieves a level of cuteness nonetheless.

Its most consistent pleasure is Eric McKeever, who plays the celebrity American newspaperman Casey O'Brien. McKeever's rich, resonant voice lends dignity to even the silliest of Solly's songs.

Scott Risner offers a different sort of pleasure - that of an actor unafraid to inhabit a character whose every gesture and utterance has the potential to annoy. He portrays Boston millionaire Clarence Cutler as a mutant cross between Cary Grant and Pee-wee Herman.

Clarence and Casey vie for the affections of Guy Rose, a wealthy Brit who turns heads once he combs his mop of hair and takes off his horn-rimmed glasses. Daniel Christian gives Guy a becoming modesty amid his constant bewilderment.

Musically and lyrically, "Boy Meets Boy" wouldn't cause Cole Porter to lose any sleep, though it has some clever and memorable moments. It's an enjoyable evening of theater, even if it doesn't hold a candle to the classic screwball comedies that inspired it.

Studio One Theatre

Through July 24

Riffe Center, 77 S. High St., Downtown