'Women Who Steal' features an exuberant cast of three

    he basic question is, “”Was it a good production?”” For San Diego Repertory Theatre’s “”Women Who Steal,”” the answer to that question comes in the form of a line from the play itself: “”Yes, but …””

    Courtesy of San Diego Repertory Theatre
    Guardian

    Overall, the play is good. One of the best things about it is that it is very fast-paced. There is never any time to get bored. Not that you would, anyway. The story is unpredictable and certainly doesn’t go the way one would imagine the aftermath of a dinner between the wife and the lover of one man to go. Anything and everything can, and does, happen in this production.

    The acting is well developed and the small cast does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Linda Libby plays Peggy, the 50-year-old woman who just discovered that her husband cheated on her- on Christmas Eve of all days. Libby does a good job portraying the insecurities that plague Peggy ever since marrying up in the world as she tries to do her best to be a loving mother and a devoted wife.

    Shana Wride plays the talkative, over-analytical Karen, the 40-year-old who slept with Peggy’s husband. Funny, loud and over-dramatic, Wride makes the audience love Karen, showing her grow as a person even when shoving her current crush in the trunk of a car.

    Bernard Baldan has the daunting task of playing every man in the production. This ranges from the poor, confused waiter, to Peggy’s husband, to everyone else in between. He does a fantastic job of making each character so unique that it is easy to forget that he plays all of them. The whole cast does a great job of working with each other to create believable, likable characters.

    Then, there’s the set. The first thing that draws the eye is a huge pair of sunglasses hanging over the middle of the stage. Throughout the play the lenses were filled with pictures of everything from trees to broken windows, but at each moment the glasses served as more of a distraction than a useful tool. The rest of the set was bright blue and looked like a puddle of mud when the stage was lit in red. This set was then decorated with silver icons and CD; when light reflected off of these CDs, the reflections made the set even more distracting.

    Some of the subject matter underlying the play may not be as relevant to the lives of students as to an older audience. Marriages that last over 20 years, menopause and a 40-year-old “”younger woman”” may seem rather far removed from the daily life of students. However, themes of cheating lovers, unrequited love and revenge are relevant to any age.

    Whatever flaws this production has, the mere humor makes up for it. Even the most serious moments are peppered with amusement, though it tends to be leaning toward the dry side on some occasions and toward the over-the-top side on other occasions.

    “”Women Who Steal”” will be playing at Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza until Feb. 22. For more information, call the box office at (619) 231-4304.

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