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The Parisian Woman - starring Uma Thurman: Hearts get broken – D.C. style





Oscar E. Moore “from the rear mezzanine” for Talk Entertainment.com

You might be interested in the fact that ultra-cool socialite Chloe (Uma Thurman) one half of a Washington D.C. power couple – the other half being her successful well connected tax attorney truly understanding husband Tom (Josh Lucas) have an open marriage - fooling around with others is acceptable.

And at the age of 25 spent some time in Paris where she obviously learned the art of using her assets to manipulate others to obtain what she wants; boasts a tattoo of a baguette (location not divulged) lending little credence that she is truly a Parisian woman.

That’s about as Parisian as she gets. Although she is sleek and chic it is difficult to believe that everyone falls madly, insanely in love (or is it lust?) with her at the drop of a beret.

Case in point: Peter (Martin Csokas) a banker and long-time tortured to the point of distraction lover who has been given a key to her lovely Town house for their trysts (most probably in Georgetown) beautifully appointed by Derek McLane.

What a bamboo fire-screen is doing atop a piece of furniture in the barely visible offstage room is questionable. No matter. Any distraction from the stilted soap opera dialogue and contrived plot is most welcomed.

The hard to be believed plot centers around her husband wanting to be nominated to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and devious Chloe using all her wiles to get this accomplished – threatening to blackmail a new friend Jeanette (Blair Brown) who adds some spice of her own to the proceedings. She is close to the President and has “influence.” Her smart Harvard educated daughter Rebecca (Phillipa Soo) soon falls under the spell of Chloe…

In this drawing room dramedy playwright Beau Willimon can’t decide if it’s a comedy or a drama. We get a little of both. I suppose he’s made so much money with his HOUSE OF CARDS that he feels he doesn’t have to deliver the theatrical goods if he’s delivered Uma as its star - peppering the plot with snide Trump barbs and bits of “infamous catch phrases” that the audience desperate for something to latch onto laps up like parched kittens.

The direction by Pam MacKinnon is boring. It’s a long 90 minutes without a break.

The characters are not believable. Nor are their relationships to one another. They appear to be play acting. Not real human beings. They drink a lot. And lie a lot. Only Ms. Soo makes a vain attempt to flesh out her role.

If so inclined, this banal production is at the newly renovated Hudson Theater through March 11 where the seats are comfortable. At least.

Adapted loosely from Henry Becque’s 1885 “La Parisienne” – a comedy in three acts. It has lost a lot in translation. It might even be sub-titled “Jumping on the Trump Bash-Wagon.” But jumping on that wagon does NOT even a mediocre play make. Pretending to be a pot-boiler this is a very slow cooker. Quel dommage!

www.parisianwomanbroadway.com

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Visit www.oscaremooore.com for additional photos


  
12-11-17