Invitation to a March, Shattered Globe Theatre, at Victory Gardens Theater. The program calls Arthur Laurents’s play “a romantic comedy of ill manners.” And his commentary on class issues and social expectations in the 1960s is sharply comic, if ill served by Shattered Globe. From the start, when Rebecca Jordan races through the opening speech without taking a beat for the humor to settle in, genuine comedy and dramatic depth are overlooked. Instead the characters vie for our approval, putting forth their particular points of view.
The story has fairy-tale overtones. An effervescent Joey Honsa portrays Norma, a woman brimming with expectations of life as a Connecticut housewife. But the approaching reality literally puts her to sleep: Norma is prone to narcolepsy whenever she’s around the rich, responsible young man she plans to marry. Only when she’s kissed passionately by her prince, a plumber named Aaron (a charming Adam Joyce), does she awaken to the possibility of adventure.
As directed by Shade Murray, the first act drags. But when the parents (particularly Linda Reiter and Jordan) get wrapped up in this love triangle and they all begin to fight for their convictions and passions, the show picks up. Still, the company takes the play’s title too literally, marching earnestly through the script, never letting loose enough for this romantic comedy to dance.