John Guare’s adaptation of The Front Page, His Girl Friday, kicks off La Jolla Playhouse’s 2013 season. You may remember the 1940 comedy that starred Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell as sparring partners in love and newspapering. Their machine-gun-speed banter and impeccable timing made the Howard Hawks film a classic. As editor Walter Burns and ace reporter Hildy Johnson, Douglas Sills and Jenn Lyon may not be Grant and Russell, but they exhibit their own brand of swaggering chemistry and get lots of laughs. Much of the rest of the Playhouse’s His Girl Friday, though, drags even with its swiftly paced dialogue (especially the overlong repartee among the jaundiced courthouse press corps). Notable are Mary Beth Peil as Hildy’s irascible prospective mom-in-law and an eye-popping period set by Robert Brill.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat