How the Other Half Loves
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Charles Jarrett

If you’re looking for some entertainment to keep you laughing through the hectic holiday season, take a ride to Walnut Creek and see Playhouse West’s production of How the Other Half Loves. Written by madcap playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the play explores the comic aspects of infidelity in marriage. Of course anyone who has had the real life experience of a cheating spouse may have trouble seeing this subject matter as anything but a tragedy. However, in the capable hands of director Lois Grandi and an excellent cast, even the moments of betrayed anger become mini comedy routines.

Bob Lieberman plays Frank, a successful businessman who has little success keeping track of his wife Fiona (Taylor Brock). As a matter of fact, he is so dense when it comes to affairs of the heart that he bungles his way through this drama like the character on the dumb end of a “who’s on first?” comedy routine. This of course makes the play into a comedy of errors as well as errant husbands and wives. His wife’s other man, Bob (Sean J. O’Neil), happens to be one of his employees. But Frank is so dense; he believes a cover up story his wife tells him about yet another married man in his employ.

With three very confused married couples running around a small stage, timing becomes a main ingredient in this comedy. Quite often two of the couples share the same on stage living quarters. Carrying on their separate dramas in such close proximity adds to the comic effect. Indeed, How the Other Half Loves is a great juggling act of comic timing that will keep you laughing.

Included in this excellent cast is Tara Blau (Teresa), Tim Hendrixson (William) and Playhouse West’s assistant artistic director L.J. Hansen. For tickets or more information call (925) 942-0300 or visit www.playhousewest.org.

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