THE SEA HORSE by Edward J. Moore, directed by Alan Jordan, with Kyra Lynn and Sean Orr. Club Theater (579 St. Clair West). Runs to February 29, Friday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 4 pm. $12, Sunday pwyc. 416-966-8966. Rating: NN
The launch of a new theatre company is cause for celebration, and it's equally admirable that Alan Jordan 's Club Theatre encourages actors to initiate their own projects. But the company's opening show, The Sea Horse , has the feel of an acting exercise for the two performers, and their choice of a vehicle is a predictable two-hander that generates little drama.
Set in a 70s California bar, it involves the bar's owner, Gertrude, a guarded, self-described "fat and ugly" woman who's been involved with Harry, a sailor who returns from a stint at sea and wants to settle down with her. They're a seemingly mismatched couple, he full of playful warmth and she wary of emotional closeness. You can bet that secrets will be revealed and barriers will start to come down.
Director Jordan's clearly worked hard with the actors, but the overall production lacks tension and the climax is weak. Sean Orr fails to give Harry much emotional range; Kyra Lynn is better at suggesting the moody Gertrude's internal war, the struggle between fearful self-containment and hopeful desire for a new life.