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EVER SLEEP with an elephant? Adam does in Norman Dietz' Apple Bit, the second of the three Lowell House absurdities. But, in order to follow the text from Genesis, he jilts the pachyderm before the playlet begins in favor of the more renowned Eve. After all, Eve has her points. As played by Leesa Freedman, Eve tends to do a bump and a grind when a mere bump would suffice. Nevertheless, she's an amusing sharp-tongued every-woman, who insists that her husband stand up to God like a man. And Eve favors hiding after the apple because "God is love and love is blind."
John Cross does fine as the witty jumping-jack-practicing Adam. No mere Dagwood, in the end he knows he's unique. Adam agrees to face God after the apple rather than be trampled in the refuse hole (an admirable draping of rust and brown rags by Thomas Mistick) by the jealous elephant because "at least God is human."
One can seek meaning in the play, but it's best to follow the example of the first-nighters, who just guffawed and ignored numerous strained lines.
Ionesco's Maid to Marry shares the second act with Apple Bit, and director Mary King Austin chose just the right juxtaposition. Its eminently civilized lady and gentleman are quite absurd. They sit on a 1950's park bench and vacillate between violently tearing up the Times and making profound comments on professions, future, past, ungrateful children. Not a wild west thriller by any means. Still, the patter's amusing.
The Typist is a real live one-acter, unlike the other skits. It alone demands sobriety for appreciation. At fifteen, when I first saw the play, it seemed pretty boring just to have two typists sitting on stage talking. But to the credit of Miss Austin and her cast, things livened up for me second time around, although a judicious speed-up of pacing still could have helped the production.
Sylvia, the office supervisor, and Paul, the new employee, are on stage. In terms of action they enter and reenter, eat lunch, and wait to leave at five. Absolutely dull human beings. Except that they live and think just like all of us, so we have to be interested. We cannot term ourselves excruciatingly dasman.
Mark Stein is great as Paul, an endearing employee of great ambition. He gets disgusted and wonders why he bothers to work days and study nights; he wants to run off to the West but instead strives like any good American young man to rise in the firm.
Sylvia, a single girl from the Bronx on her way to old-maidhood, ostensibly wants more then anything to leave home, but needs her family too much to part ways. And she wants love and experience and life and a lover--if he'll marry her after.
Unfortunately, as Sylvia, Polly Brooks never quite got into the part. Although she sometimes seemed close, she jarred the mood everytime she spoke. One appreciates the fine enunciation of her slightly British accent, but they just don't talk like that down in the Bronx.
The three plays complement each other nicely and make for an enjoyable evening. If you happen to find one tedious, the two others are sure to compensate.
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