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Theater review: "Cactus Flower," 1 star



Cactus Flower
1 star

Some plays don’t need to be revived. “Cactus Flower” is one of them.

Under the right circumstances, this 1960s comedy could provide a solid dose of silly fun — rather like the recent revival of “Boeing Boeing” did. But as revived by Michael Bush, ”Flower” comes off as labored and unfunny.

The premise, which loosely inspired the recent Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston flick “Just Go With It,” involves bachelor Julian (Maxwell Caulfield), a dentist who tells his younger girlfriend Toni (Jenni Barber) that he is married in order to make their romance more steamy.

But things get messy once Toni decides that she wants to meet his wife. Julian, desperately in need of someone to pretend to be her, selects his stentorian receptionist, Ms. Dickinson (Lois Robbins), for the role.

As you probably guessed, what follows is a series of farcical misunderstandings.

The set and costume designs do give off an early 1960s vibe. And the period soundtrack is a lot of fun, too. But something is wrong when the best parts of a play occur during the set changes.

Caulfield (the male lead of “Grease 2”) has a suave voice and physicality that suits the role of a Don Draper-style philanderer. But even he looks bored and tired here.

If you go

“Cactus Flower” plays at the Westside Theatre through May 29. 407 W. 43rd St., 212-239-6200,

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