May 14 2014 01:39 PM

A review of Mud Blue Sky' leads our rundown of local plays

Melissa Fernandes (left) and DeAnna Driscoll
Photo courtesy of Moxie Theatre

The title of Marisa Wegrzyn's play Mud Blue Sky suggests 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's gone out of their jobs after so many endless flights, and things aren't very happy on the ground, either.

Beth is the 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-attendant charms but lonely and watching from afar (or above, much of the time) the restless growth 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 highs, lows, 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'll gain new appreciation for the flight attendants on your next trip.

Mud Blue Sky runs through June 8 at Moxie Theatre in Rolando. $20-$27.

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Happy Days: Sledgehammer theater company returns from six years in hibernation to stage Samuel Beckett's play with two characters, one who spends eternity partially buried in dirt and one who lives in a cave to escape unforgiving heat. Opens May 15 at the 10th Avenue Arts Center in East Village.

Lost in Yonkers: It's the 1940s, and a man causes upheaval in his extended family when he decides he needs to make money as a traveling salesman. Presented by Oceanside Theatre Company, it opens May 16 at Brooks Theatre.

The MotherfHHker with the Hat: A former drug dealer fresh out of prison is back with his addict girlfriend and desperate to know whom the man's hat in her apartment belongs to. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it opens in preview on May 15 at Old Town Theatre.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: A successful actress returns home to Pennsylvania, where her siblings have spent much of their adult lives caring for their now-deceased parents, and she's brought her dumb, much younger boyfriend with her. Opens May 17 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.

The Wizard of Oz: The classic story is brought to life by Arms Wide Open, a nonprofit group that gives folks with special needs opportunities to be involved in the arts. Runs May 15 through 21 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown. 

Now playing

The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast: A musical adaptation of the French fairy tale. Presented by Looking Glass Theatre, it runs through May 17 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest.

Passion: Ion Theatre closes its eighth season with this Stephen Sondheim musical about a 19th-century soldier caught between his affair with a married woman and a mentally troubled woman's love for him. Through May 17 at BLKBOX Theatre in Hillcrest.

Three Sisters: In this acclaimed play by Anton Chekhov, four siblings from Moscow live unsatisfying lives in a small Russian town after the death of their military-officer father. Presented by the UCSD Theatre and Dance department, it runs through May 17 at the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre on campus.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure: In this adaptation by Steven Dietz, the famous detective is at the end of his career but is drawn into one last case. Through May 18 at Coronado Playhouse.

Annie Get Your Gun: Sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler romance each other amid an attempted merger between Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Far East shows. Presented by San Diego Musical Theatre, it runs through May 25 at the North Park Theatre.

Old Jews Telling Jokes: A comedy revue featuring five actors paying homage to classic jokes, inspired by a website of the same name. Through May 25 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown.

Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story: A musical based on the true 1924 story of two young men who murdered a young boy for the thrill of it. Through May 25 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights.

9 to 5: the Musical: An adaptation of the 1980 film, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, about three women who scheme to get even with their boorish boss. Through June 7 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista.

The Clean House: The story of a woman, her maid who doesn't like cleaning houses and her husband who falls in love with another woman who's dying of cancer. Through June 8 at PowPAC in Poway.

Mud Blue Sky: A teenage pot dealer on his way home from the prom ends up in a Chicago hotel room with three veteran flight attendants in this funny drama about making ends meet. Through June 8 at Moxie Theatre in Rolando.

Chasing the Song: A young, female songwriter hits the male-dominated American pop-music scene in the early 1960s just as the British Invasion is starting to change everything. Through June 15 at La Jolla Playhouse.

Crime Pays: A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill.


See all events on Wednesday, Dec 7