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‘Fortune’s Fools’ Opens Off-Broadway

May 24, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ ``Fortune’s Fools″ is a comedy about love and marriage, and is as fluffy as whipped cream but with a little more substance.

The play, which opened Wednesday at the off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theater, has very few slow spots. Writer Frederick Stroppel must share credit with four deft actors and John Rando’s brisk and clever direction.

The visual aspects are kept lively by Loren Sherman’s designs: side walls that swing in with different furniture for scene changes and a sliding back wall.

The play begins seven months before the wedding of Gail (Dorrie Joiner) and Chuck (Danton Stone). They introduce their best man Jay (Tuc Watkins) and maid of honor Bonnie (Marissa Chibas) who take an immediate dislike to one another. Jay predicts Bonnie, an actress, will be a militant feminist, a vegetarian, an environmentalist and a smoker. She predicts he’ll be a computer nerd. They are both right.

Act 1 ends with the wedding. Jay and Bonnie, who are turned on by their verbal jabs, suddenly feel a charge of sexual attraction.

But Jay and Bonnie part after a week together, agreeing they’re too different to stay together. She moves to California and does corny TV commercials. They miss each other.

Chuck and Gail start to bicker. Little things become annoyances; the main problem is the feminism Gail has picked up from Bonnie.

The four get together again at Chuck and Gail’s new house. Chuck and Gail argue. Bonnie, whose character has changed the most, lectures them about protecting what they have. Chibas makes Bonnie’s change from shrew to softness charming.

``Fortune’s Fools,″ which ends with another wedding and the appropriate song ``Fools Fall in Love,″ is funnier, and its comic excesses more rooted in reality, than ``My Thing of Love,″ which explored the same topic and recently had a short run on Broadway.

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