The title of Marisa Wegrzyn’s play, Mud Blue Sky, suggests that unsightliness where none should be. In this airy comedy at Moxie Theatre, the lives of aging flight attendants Beth (DeAnna Driscoll), Sam (Jo Anne Glover) and Angie (Melissa Fernandes) are not unsightly, but they are untidy. The fun has gone out of their jobs after so many endless flights, and things aren’t very happy on the ground, either. Beth is most fed up of the three, weary of back and of mind, getting her marijuana fix from an artless young dealer (J. Tyler Jones) when she’s off-duty and seriously contemplating “stopping” her job (she won’t call it quitting). Sam is clinging to her fading flight-attendance charms but lonely and watching from afar (or above much of the time) the restless growing-up of her teen-aged son. Angie has put on a happy face out of sheer will, but it slips off easily.
Mud Blue Sky is set almost entirely in a drab Chicago hotel room not far from O’Hare International. It’s Beth’s room, but Sam and Angie and even Jonathan the pot dealer make a playground out of it for an evening of high’s, low’s, confessions and silly, stress-relieving laughs. Moxie’s Jennifer Eve Thorn directs an ace cast. Driscoll handles all strata of comedy, from the one-liners and double-takes to the meticulously physical. Both Glover and Fernandes have shown themselves to be talented comedians in past productions around town (Glover is also Moxie’s general manager), and the chemistry between them and Driscoll is infectious. Making his debut at Moxie, Jones is the most adorably innocent pot dealer you’ll ever see, doing business on his prom night in a rented tuxedo and looking not that many years out of puberty. But he, like the rest of this terrific cast, is funny and completely at ease with Wegrzyn’s clever and not too mawkish script.
The one-act play flies by like an air commute from San Diego to San Francisco, and though it does pause from its hotel-room pranks to address weighty life questions, laughter is permitted to carry the day. One bonus to experiencing Mud Blue Sky: You will gain new appreciation for the flight attendants on your next trip.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat