Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay


Le Switch
New Conservatory Theatre Center
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of The Lion in Winter, The Morning After and Aladdin and Patrick's review of The Royale


Ryan Vásquez and Donald Currie
Photo by Lois Tema
So many gay plays pit faithfulness against promiscuity, love against sex. It is a pleasure to see Philip Dawkins' Le Switch, playing at the New Conservatory Theatre Center through December 10, a romantic comedy performed by a cast of splendid actors.

Le Switch focuses on 35-year-old David (Steve Rhyne), an anti-commitment person who finds himself blocked when it comes to a long-term relationship with his boyfriend, who wants to get married. David is having a mid-life crisis. His loving twin sister Sarah (Nancy French) encourages him to get over himself, as does his free-spirited friend Zachary (Brian J. Patterson), who is getting married himself. David is from Manhattan, an antiquarian/librarian by trade, and fellow activist Frank (Donald Currie) shares an apartment with him. Frank is the voice of the older generation.

David is soon to be best man at Zachary's wedding in Montreal. When he flies to the Quebec city, he meets super sweet Benoît (Ryan Vásquez). It's love at first sight and they immediately begin a relationship. The younger Benoît flies to Manhattan and after a while he asks David to marry him, but David is hesitant. I won't tell you the ending, but as the immortal Shakespeare wrote, "all's well that ends well."

Tom Bruett directs quite efficiently, and Sarah Phykitt has designed very crafty sets with beautiful split projections of Montreal and New York on the wall behind the set.

Steve Rhyne is outstanding as David. He has just the right amount of confusion to allow us to feel sorry for him. Ryan Vásquez is utterly charming as Benoît. He is an old fashioned kind of guy who does not own a cell phone and does not want to use social media. Donald Currie gives an absolutely masterful performance as the older Frank, and Brian J. Patterson rocks as campy Zachary. Nancy French gives a first-rate performance as David's sister Sarah.

Bottom Line: Le Switch is a very commercial play, and a topical one to boot. It puts one in the mind of the work of Terrence McNally.

Le Switch, through December 10, 2017, at Walker Theatre in the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness Ave. at Market, San Francisco CA. For tickets call 415 861 8971 or visit www.nctcsf.org. Coming up next is a repeat of Avenue Q with a new cast.


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