THE BOY JONES written and directed by Sky Gilbert, with Gil Garratt, Jennifer Waiser, Richard MacDonagh, Paul Bettis, Mark Christmann and Richard Partington. Presented by the Cabaret Company and the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the Studio Theatre (4 Glen Morris). Runs to February 17, Thursday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2 pm. $10-$15, Sunday pwyc. 416-978-7986. Rating: NN Rating: NN
the fascination with british royals isn't a new phenomenon. Sky Gilbert's The Boy Jones plays with history to focus on Edwin Jones, a teenage chimney-sweep who sneaks repeatedly -- imprisonment is no deterrent -- into Buckingham Palace to gawk at and listen to the young Victoria and Albert, England's repositories of truth and wisdom.Gilbert's piece is part send-up, part music hall (with music by John Alcorn), a satire of the class system and patriarchy and a look at homosexuals and other outsiders in the 1840s. What it isn't is enlightening or entertaining, despite a good performance, filled with youthful exuberance, by Gil Garratt as the sometimes simple Jones.
There are nice cartoons by Mark Christmann as the Lord High Steward and Jennifer Waiser as the 20-something Victoria, a squeaky-voiced china doll who loves to dance. Wendy White's costumes and Steve Lucas's set, including a huge treadmill that would delight a roomful of hamsters, are also pluses, and Gilbert makes good use of multiple playing areas.
But the bloated script is full of tedious double entendres, regularly returning to stroke the line about Jones's "'uge curiosity." The last scene finally achieves a touch of magic, but too often Gilbert aims for a schoolboy naughtiness that quickly palls.