Delighted by 'Butterflies'

The comedy "Butterflies Are Free," playing Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Brewery Arts Center, is a delight with about as perfect a cast as a theatergoer could ask for. It also offers a salutary lesson: Freedom doesn't mean much without accompanying responsibility.

But don't get caught up in philosophy. This is a modern comedy, complete with an ingenue who was married for six days; a blind man who wants to live life on his own; a mother from Scarsdale intent on protecting her blind son from freedom; and a theater producer out for something other than curtain calls.

Director Jeff Whitt said before the opening last Friday, he had skipped the usual auditions for the play because he already knew whom he wanted to cast. And he was absolutely right in his choices.

Andrew Johnson ("Don't call me Andy") as Don was determined to live his own life and did so with aplomb. His mother, Teri Levy as Mrs. Baker, was the trim matron (not used as criticism) and the rock on which everything turned. Warren Schader, as the producer, was convincing as a man on the make.

But it was Amy Gotham, as Jill Tanner, who kept the wheels spinning, the laughs flowing, the malaprops flying. She's a born mugger, a delightful wacko, an appealing woman of 19 on the make for the theater. When she's on stage, the lights seem to dim on the other actors.

Not that the other three are weak. They are fine, particularly Levy, who finally assumes responsibility (some might say irresponsibility) for it all. She projects momism at its worst before seeing life as it is. Gotham and Johnson make a fine couple. and yes, there is that happy ending.

The Brewery knows how to toss an opening-night party. The sushi and champagne were fine, sending one home fed and festive. Miss this show, and you'll possibly be missing a chance to be able to say, "Yeah, I saw them when ..."

The production is a benefit by the Proscenium Players for the Brewery,

Fun at the comma

The African Drumming Workshop tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. is enough to make the neighbors knock on walls, but there are no neighbors at Comma Coffee on Carson Street. Ken Strandberg is the rhythm master and instills the beat.

And on Friday, from 8-10 p.m., it's a World Dance, a bit tamer. Signups start at 7:30 p.m.

Guv's the host

Drop by by the Pops Party Concert Sunday around 2:30 p.m. at the Governor's Mansion. Harmonica whiz Tom Stryker plays, and tenor Patrick Jolly sings.

If nothing else, see how the top pols live. Call 883-4154.

n Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.


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