While it may seem far-fetched, writer Alan Ayckbourn lets his imagination run wild in the rather amusing script of “Comic Potential.” In this play set in the distant future, “actoids,” mechanical robots that can remember lines and take direction very well, have replaced actors-all except one robot of course, the beautiful Jacie Triplethree (JC333). She not only has a problem giving the director what he needs, but also has another internal dilemma: she can fall in love.
Claire Tyler, the star that plays Jacie, does a remarkable job in this role, convincingly going from one emotion to the next, making the audience laugh from the moment she gets on the stage. David Kwiat and Lisa Morgan also have memorable roles that help the show, but it seems as if all the other characters are purposefully made into “stock” images in order to make the lead seem more human. Whether this was the intent of the director or playwright is unclear, yet it would have been nice to see other three-dimensional characters emerge from the production as well (not that the acting is bad, mind you, but too many vegetables and not enough meat on a dish isn’t always so appetizing.)
One of the best features of this play comes from M.P. Amico’s picturesque design, which involves a revolving set, and Nate Rausch’s scrupulous sound arrangements. The music aptly coincides with every scene and never once seems obtrusive, unless it is about to make us laugh.
Though it sounds like a truism, this tale reflects on what the meaning of love can and might be: sometimes humans take for granted the power of love, or they miss the boat all together. Some believe that it takes many years to understand this feeling, while others claim to find it at first sight, yet whatever premise underlies its conquest doesn’t matter as long as one is ultimately able to savor love’s bracing medicinal cure.
“Comic Potential” plays at the Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables through Oct. 27th. Performance times are Wed. through Sat. at 8 p.m., and Sun. at 2 p.m. Call (305) 444-9293 for more information.
Josh Carabello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org