Monday, March 20, 2023
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Out of the Mouth of Babes - Estelle Parsons & Judith Ivey plus two off Broadway

Oscar E. Moore “from the rear mezzanine” for

Israel Horovitz is at it again. After some seventy plus plays - a new sit-com cum sex farce of sorts – a throwback to the days of avant-garde off Broadway when a slight play could be mounted for a pittance and provide some laughs while supplying a paper thin plot. No questions asked. Just a fun time with some able bodied actresses with some ridiculous situations to deal with. And so we have OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES – now at The Cherry Lane Theatre.

These BABES have been around the block. Circling each other for years. They have all at one time or another and sometimes at the same time been involved with the same 100 year old randy Frenchman who has just died thus enabling them to reunite in Paris for his funeral.

His most recent and youngest conquest, the heavily accented Marie-Belle (Francesca Choy-Kee) still senses his presence in the art filled apartment overlooking a canal in Paris. The corpse in question must have had something really special.

Each of these women met said corpse at The Sorbonne. Each loved the charming cad dearly. Three married him. One simply lived with him. The most recent still feels him “tickling” her. References are made to his teaching abilities, his tinkling of the ivories, his prowess with his tongue and his many other trysts.

It’s The Golden Girls meets Blithe Spirit. They compare notes. We get their back stories. They are sleep deprived. Jet lag. One is suicidal. Again. Janice (Angelina Fiordellisi) who appeared in ZORBA and is the Producing Artistic Director at The Cherry Lane is the weakest link.

Holding down the fort are Estelle Parsons (Evelyn) and Judith Ivey (Evvie). Both are fine with what little they are given to play with. They deserve better. So do we.

There are not too many new plays written for the older actress. And this one allows them to spread their wings. They do not exactly soar but provide enough enjoyment to overlook the inane proceedings as we reach the end of the second act.

The pace thankfully is fast thanks to director Barnet Kellman. The attractive set by Neil Patel is filled with a collection of art work from A to Z. A detailed guide is enclosed. Are they for sale?

There is no mention of a will. And one wonders why they are so civil to one another. One would think there would be more animosity over the pate and wine served.

One wonders a lot about this guy who was a collector of women who now haunts his Paris apartment and is hopefully chuckling over the silly goings on. Tune is next week to see if he seduces someone from the beyond.

Photo: Carol Rosegg