Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Come Blow Your Horn
Also see Susan's review of Detroit
The 1961 comedy is very much of its timeslick bachelors in classy New York apartments, long weekends with beautiful, willing bimbos, sensible "nice girls" holding out for marriagebut Simon provides an undercurrent of heart and genuine feeling. In his take on the theme, shy 21-year-old Buddy Baker (Alex Alferov) finally leaps out of the parental nest, landing on the doorstep of his high-living brother Alan (Elliott Kashner). Both brothers are trying to break free of their loving, smothering, guilt-producing mother (Allison Turkel) and the irascible father (Mick Tinder) for whom they both work. (That's the innovation. Did Hugh Hefner-style playboys have to deal with visiting mothers trying to force them to eat?)
While the sons are the lead roles, the parents get the chance to chew the scenery. Tinder earns laughs with his dyspeptic delivery of lines, while Turkel has the tour de force moment when she attempts to memorize several phone messages in succession.
Kashner exudes cool confidence as a man who thinks he has everything figured out, until the tables turn and he realizes he isn't as sure of himself as he thinks he is. As Buddy, Alferov is a sweet nebbish who discovers a whole different personality with his brother's help. Lizzie Albert and Heather Benjamin add sparkle as, respectively, a dumb blonde who is smart about her own future and a woman who finally stands up to Alan.
Claassen's direction is a bit heavy on the physical humor early on, but the conversational scenes work better than the ones when Kashner trips on a bare floor or flops onto a sofa when his romantic quarry escapes his clutches.
Patricia Tinder's costume designs go a long way toward defining the characters: Kashner's casual elegance, Tinder's perpetually wrinkled suit, Turkel's long knitted cape, and Alferov's third-act outfit that shows how Buddy has emerged from his cocoon.
American Century Theater