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Set at a beachside mansion near Hollywood, the play starts with an introduction to Sims Glendenning Bill Largess , a famous English writer who is anxious at the thought of becoming older. Scott Williams , a sharp-tongued man who still has feelings for Sims.
Their friendship is strained by the tension of secrecy. Sims hides his sexual orientation from the public through a lavender marriage with his actress wife Claire Laura Giannarelli , who is not oblivious to the nature of their union. In his interview with Tim Treanor , he remarked that the members of this odd household use wit as protective armor.
The setups and punchlines roll in one after another, broken up with well-timed dips into drama. When she first enters, Giannarelli strikes a dramatic pose, preparing the audience for an hilarious and glamorous performance. And this is the weakest part of the play. A big theme of All Save One is the fear of venturing into the unknown, and I suspect Clay is the personified representation of that fear.
I, however, wish this representation was less of a distraction that took me out of the compelling story Ellis has created.
Even with my Clay-induced gripes, I still enjoyed laughing at the stellar jokes and nodding in agreement as Sims, Basil, Grant, Father Theodore, and Claire made introspective remarks on life, love, and entertainment. All Save One is a smart piece with witty characters and a plethora of memorable lines. Directed by Carl Randolph. Scott Williams.