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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
Metcalf, in real life a good singer, puts the awe back in awful in her renditions. Nate's lessons are useless and his suspicions aroused when Ginny turns up with cakes and casseroles. Hers are more than aroused when she turns up one Sunday, the day he says he doesn't teach, and finds Sheryl (Maile Flanagan), a plain, plump colleague from community theatre in residence.
Ginny has already rescued Nate's piano from the Repo Man and the fact that Sheryl is likely to win a lucrative law suit doesn't open her eyes to Nate's character the way it should. Nate, for his part, keeps no secrets, unless you count sins of omission. The ending is too funny to spoil and comes long before we're tired of the pleasures of Bart de Lorenzo's daffy production deftly embodied by this cast.
Metcalf has the expressive face of a great clown and this role gives her a chance to show what she can do. Steely determination, vulnerability and obsession characterize every hungry actress you ever knew but this one is riveting. Stewart holds his own, not just as a foil for this manic woman, but as a character whose lack of character emerges with devastating finesse as the hour winds down. Flanagan takes a small part and not only fiercely holds the stage but pummels it whenever she gets the chance.
The classic showtunes between scenes, a sound design credited to Kristian Hoffman, are delicious, especially the last. This little jewel is one of the best Tanners yet, for anybody who loves actors, their coaches and laughter.