'Rose Cottages' in Bloom at Theatricum Botanicum
Theatricum Botanicum's outdoor theater space and its surrounding grounds are a grand place to spend a summer evening. And while venerable classics make up most of the repertory staged there, the company also sometimes presents more contemporary works. Right now, for instance Bill Bozzone's amusing comedy "Rose Cottages," which premiered at New York's Ensemble Studio Theater a quarter century ago, is getting its west coast premiere under the stars in Topanga Canyon.
Rose (Earnestine Phillips) manages a fleabag motel in Orlando, Florida, that is on the verge of being condemned by the county health inspector. Apparently adding to her difficulties, then, a naive teenage runaway (Graco Hernandez) suddenly shows up on her doorstep pleading for a place to stay. Complicating matters further, a young, newly married couple occupying one of the units abandons the man's elderly mother (Ellen Geer) on the premises and sneaks away before Rose knows what's happened. And the plot keeps on twisting from there.
There are some funny lines of dialogue sprinkled throughout the play, and Hernandez and Phillips forge a dynamic relationship in their scenes together. All in all, a pleasant, if not really a memorable, evening.