(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
"Be careful what you wish for" seems to be the moral of the three playlets that comprise this chamber musical now in previews at the Vineyard Theatre. Whether it's a young boy who needs a friend, a bored housewife who wants a link to her fantasy world of late-night gangster movies, or a gay couple hoping to adopt the perfect child, getting one's wish does not turn out well. If you were wishing for a show with music by John Kander (most recently Scottsboro Boys and Curtains), lyrics and book by promising playwright Greg Pierce (Slowgirl) and a talented cast led by David Hyde Pierce (Greg's uncle), the same might apply to you. The evening is curiously flat. "Andra," basically story theater with a little music added, goes on much too long. "The Brick," the most inventive and lively of the three, could use some trimming too. The final piece, "The Landing," is sketchy and its theme problematic. The shortcomings of the material are almost compensated for by an excellent cast -- Pierce, Julia Murney, Paul Anthony Stewart and appealing child actor Frankie Seratch. There is not as much music as I would have expected and what there is not top-drawer Kander. The evening is by no means terrible, just not very interesting. The simple, functional set design is by the busy John Lee Beatty. Talented director Walter Bobbie makes the most of what he has to work with. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes; no intermission.