Monday, February 4, 2008

"Curvy Widow": ☼ ☼

The announcer's voice came over the PA: "The show will begin in a few minutes. In the meantime, we would like to let you know the Giants won the Super Bowl 17-14." So much for suspense and the DVR waiting at home.

Then Cybill Shepherd came out onto stage and "Curvy Widow" began. There weren't too many surprises here either. "Curvy Widow" is a fun evening of familiar female kvetches, with more pluses than minuses.

The show is written by Bobby Goldman (who is a woman). It is the story of one woman's difficulties in crossing the minefield of internet dating, after the mourning period for her late husband has passed. Shepherd commands the stage, walking from her desk to a chair to a sofa, while narrating the sordid details of all the crumb-bums she meets on line. The problem is that Cybill Shepherd, while perhaps no Spring chicken, is also nobody's meatloaf. She is a very, very attractive woman of a certain age, and it is tough to believe that Bobby Goldman's online misadventures could possibly have been the same as Cybill Shepherd's.

The monologue is structured for a female audience. The laughs are there -- "I wanted a man without tatoos, piercings or walkers." About how the men she met seemed to love golf more than her: "Maybe golf removes the penis." About how she loves her apartment: "Sometimes it all comes down to closets." The ladies howled.

For this reviewer, Cybill Shepherd's laid-back, Southern-tinged gentility is admirable, but she's an actress, not a comedienne. She's not Susie Essman. This is not to find fault with Cybill Shepherd, but the material has some edge and the performance might gain from an infusion of attitude. Just saying "f---" is not the same as meaning it.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Curvy Widow" one star for Cybill Shepherd, because she hasn't lost a step since "The Last Picture Show," and one for Bobby Goldman, who probably wishes she could have been Cybill Shepherd. Women will definitely enjoy this show more than men. "Curvy Widow" does not aspire to do much more than give a few laughs. It's not the Super Bowl. It's just funny.

"Curvy Widow"
Post. Street Theater, San Francisco
Wed.-Sun. through Mar 9, 2008; $50-$75

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