By Martin F. Kohn
So where was Madame Camille when I was filling out my bracket?
Actually, Madame Camille, pivotal character in Sean Paraventi’s comedy “The Current,” may be a psychic, but she has her limits. She can’t predict things like winning lottery numbers, she explains to the young women who’ve come for a reading. What she can, and does, do in face-to-face encounters is pretty darned uncanny.
The visitors’ venture into the paranormal is a lark, highlight of a bachelorette party, and it’s the interplay among the characters that has given “The Current” life since its world premiere at Magenta Giraffe Theatre in 2010. I recall the first act of that production as hilarious and the second act as a bit of a letdown. The new staging, by Nancy Kammer at Two Muses Theatre, is the opposite. Act One never seems to find its footing; Act Two is a delight.
That’s the essence of live theater: One production of a play is never the same as another.
As far as I can tell, the script hasn’t changed, and certainly the plot remains intact. In the first act the four young women greet Madame Camille’s observations with everything from belief to skepticism. In the second act, at 2 in the morning, they come banging on Madame Camille’s door individually and as a duo to admit she may have been right about everything.
Besides Camille herself (Diane Hill), you’ve got bride-to-be Mary (Alysia Kolascz), worried that she’s marrying the wrong guy; tender-hearted Darlene (Kristin Schultes); married, career-obsessed Angie (Tara Tomcsik); and serial dater – “I’m a catch-and-release kind of girl” – Sharon (Kelly Rose Voigt).
Each of the four young women has a secret or two, while Madame Camille, the clairvoyant one, is open and down-to-earth. Her Ouija board may be a portal to the spirit world, but it came built in to a table from IKEA and she wishes she’d known how hard it was to put together.
Paraventi’s script is peppered with good lines like that, but, with the help of Kammer and her cast, he can be just as funny prescribing a moment of silence as when Mary mentions how beautiful the bridesmaids’ dresses are.
One reason the second act here is more appealing than the first is because Kammer has her actors standing up or flopping across a couch or moving around Bill Mandt’s set. In the first act, there’s a lot of sitting and watching as each woman has her reading with Madame Camille.
They’re an appealing group, all five of them, distinguishable from one another and sharply delineated. Who knows what the next production of “The Current” may bring? Meanwhile, there’s this one to enjoy.
Two Muses Theatre, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 6800 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through April 13. 1 hour, 20 minutes. $15-18 in advance; $2 more at the door. 248-850-9919. http://www.twomusestheatre.org