“Sirens,” by Deborah Zoe Laufer, is an amusing romantic comedy that makes a great date play and is fairly family friendly. Interplayers Theatre’s latest production features quirky characters and much humor.
“Sirens” centers on Sam and Rose Adelle Abrams, who have been married 25 years. Rose (Tamara Schupman) wants to go on a romantic cruise to celebrate their anniversary, but all Sam (Roger Welch) wants to do is write a song and meet women on Facebook. While on the cruise, Sam is drawn to the song of the siren, played by soprano Dawn Wolski.
Welch, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s artistic director, is a likeable goof as the poor sap who is lured into the ocean by a singing mythical woman who wants him to die so she can appease the gods. Sam’s only hope for returning to the mainland is to procure fresh batteries for the siren’s electronic solitaire game.
Rose, meanwhile, attempts to reconnect with an old flame, Richard Miller, played by Nicholas Witham.
Both Welch and Schupman deliver the show’s ample humor without going overboard. Welch’s rendition of the song “Richard Miller’s Not That Great” is a show highlight, as is the siren’s reaction when the batteries on her video game die.
In addition to the siren, Wolski depicts other female characters in the play, such as a travel agent and waitress. Her portrayal of the siren is the most successful of these, but her sarcastic East Coast waitress is “hi-larious.”
While Laufer’s script has a healthy number of jokes and fun characters, it lacks real surprise and mystery. The pacing in the first act drags a bit but quickens after intermission.
Director Christian Duhamel brought out the lightness and sweetness of the story but missed several opportunities to explore the deeper themes of the play, which would heighten the payoff at the end. “Sirens” is about a couple who has lost their bond, but when Sam realizes he does want his wife, his need isn’t desperate enough. There also is a layer of sensuality in the script that could’ve been mined. When the siren should’ve been doing everything in her power to seduce her prey, Duhamel had the actors sitting on opposite ends of the stage. In a few scenes, the characters’ freedom of movement was impeded by pesky chairs.
John Hofland designed an eye-pleasing set featuring sea blues and greens with a wave motif. The moveable set pieces include a small, cute sailboat.
In the end Sam and Rose rediscover what they had lost, and they stand on a boat facing their future. It is a happy moment, and one can’t help but smile.
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