Al and Arlene (J. J. Rowley and Deborah Zimmer) are retired with a life of leisure or, one could say, boredom. He likes to watch “The Lawrence Welk Show” and she likes to watch anything else. This is the opening stuff of Theatrx’s current offering of Stephen Storc’s newest show, Scent of a Woman.
These homebodies take a cruise to Hawaii. Be-leied and Hawaiian-themed attired, they are definitely not ready to join the touring set. They settle down in front of the TV again. Storc, known for his musicals, decided to go for a play rather than a musical. Well, not quite. Well into the run, he has decided to add a song, something about loving her tonight sung by Zimmer. This turned out to be a highlight of the evening. The song, a dream sequence over a sleeping Al, plays nicely.
A mistake proves to be their transition out of the doldrums of boring retirement. After seeing a film about a serial killer disposing of women for their essences, they try an experiment on Arlene – without killing her. This is not pretty! Properly mixed with a base, the end product, Eau de Arlene, is not only pleasant to the nose, it has the added effect of tightening the skin. It isn’t long before the create Eau de Al and a blending of both for a third product.
It isn’t long, however, before the IRS and the FDA are hot on their trail. Scent of a Woman is amusing. The plot is rather thin, but the stage relationship between Zimmer and Rowley is totally believable. From a mild case of Bickersons to loving and tender, they are a really nice couple to know. Their new-found riches allow them to show a concern for those less fortunate and they make an interesting pact; spending money on themselves means they have to donate to a charity.
Scent of a Woman is a multi-scene two act play requiring the actors to do some quick changes as well as keeping stage & house manager Kat Perhach extremely busy. This is one of Storc’s shorter works. It has some delightful moments and he has captured the relationship of two people who have been married for a very, very long time.
For those of you who have not been to Theatrx, it is a charming small theatre near the Patio Playhouse in Escondido. Mr. Storc usually meets the audience in the lobby and is certainly a grand host. He is currently working on a people-eating car. Yes, you’re right it is Christine – The Mini Musical. His macabre sense is returning. Watch out.
Deborah Zimmer, J. J. Rowley
Set, Lighting, &Sound Design Evan Stone, Construction by Kevin Sesma & Jason King, AD/SM Kat Perhach
Total Rating: Two Stars
Genre: Musical Comedy
Author: Stephen Storc
Director: Stephen Storc
Date Reviewed: September 22, 2007
Dates: Weekends through October 14, 2007
Running Time: 78 minutes with one 10 minute intermission
Theatrx – Privately owned musical theatre
155 E. Grand Avenue
Box Office Phone (760) 735-2491