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Theater review: 'Shooting Star' at the Colony Theatre

September 21, 2011 | 11:46 am

When unexpectedly encountering an ex-lover, one should a) duck out of sight b) hook up for old time’s sake or c) painfully remind that person of their unachieved youthful dreams. Steven Dietz chooses all of the above in “Shooting Star,” his elegiac comedy of young love and middle age, now at the Colony Theatre.

Set designer David Potts’ impressive airport lounge perfectly evokes the corporate anonymity of air travel -- a contrast to the very personal run-in between middle management Reed (Kevin Symons) and free-spirited Elena (Michelle Duffy), who find themselves with a few hours (and misconceptions) to kill after a snowstorm grounds their flights. After a tumultuous two-year affair in college, they split up: he to marry and embrace a conventional life, she to a string of affairs and career missteps. Now, face to face 25 years later, they seem to hold the key to each other’s futures.

Director David Rose calibrates the point-scoring, the vulnerability and the inevitable surprise revelations. Duffy and Symons create sympathetic, flawed beings: wise enough to be onto themselves, but too settled to redirect their pathologies. “A woman needs to marry before she gets too interesting,” observes Elena. “I meet men nowadays… and they just watch me like TV.” Reed has the opposite problem: He’s grown less interesting over the years and can’t figure out what he should live for.

Dietz overworks the political stuff -- she’s a Dem, he’s a Republican who cares -- and Rose can look too hard for laughs. But “Star,” in its accessible, well-made way, offers a moving look into that place in our hearts where lost loves still hold sway.

-- Charlotte Stoudt


Theater review: 'Poor Behavior' at the Mark Taper Forum

Theater review: 'Pride and Prejudice' at South Coast Repertory

Theater review: 'What The Moon Saw...' at Son of Semele Theater

“Shooting Star” The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ends Oct. 16. $20-$42. Contact: (818) 558-7000 or Running time: 90 minutes.

Photo: Michelle Duffy and Kevin Symons in "Shooting Star." Credit: Michael Lamont.