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Theater review: 'It Must Be Him' at Edgemar Center for the Arts

July 28, 2011 |  2:15 pm

It Must Be Him photo 2 When the twinkie rejects your free guest house, it's time to rethink romance. For Louie (David Pevsner), the middle-aged gay hero of Kenny Solms’ fluffy rom-com “It Must Be Him,” the solution is simple: Take one sassy housemaid (Veronica Alicino), add show tunes, men in leather shorts, and stir gently.

Things begin on a perilously wobbly note, but this romp — well-suited for the intimate Edgemar Center’s black box — finds its (old-fashioned) groove with a mix of breezy comedy, dirty jokes and tuneful numbers from Emmy-winning composer Larry Grossman and lyricist Ryan Cunningham.  Louie’s dead parents (a droll Michael Edelstein and Beth Lane) show up to make him feel guilty about being gay, while his stoner assistant (Andy Fitzgerald) wonders why he’s still writing hetero material. Can Louie stop chasing younger men? Will he write anything funny? And just what sort of codpiece is that chorus boy (Stephan Smith Collins) wearing? 

Louie is never as much fun as his entourage, and Pevsner wisely lets the goofballs run rampant (Jim Shipley scores as a stuttering actor, as does Morgan Smith Feldman as Louie's high school girlfriend). Directed with a light touch by Brian Drillinger, the show is saved by never taking itself too seriously. Career in the toilet, no man in sight? A joke takes the sting out of the L.A. blues. Louie: “My last credit was the ‘Osmonds Celebrate Christmas’. And it was just Jimmy.”

-- Charlotte Stoudt

“It Must Be Him” Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Ends Sept. 4. $34.99. Contact: (310) 392-7327 or Running time: 90 minutes. 

Photo: Veronica Alicino, from left, Nick Cobey, Stephen Marshall, David Pevsner and Andy Fitzgerald. Credit: Jillian Winstersteen.