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Review: 'Happy Birthday' a booze-filled romp

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm •  Published: March 21, 2013

But encouraged by circumstances, her first Pink Lady cocktail, and a mirthful pair of veteran barflies (imbued with mischief by Darrie Lawrence and Nora Chester), Addie is soon belting out popular tunes at the open mike, cracking wise and knocking back drinks like a sailor.

Bacon gives a solidly appealing performance, becoming increasingly vivacious and warm as Addie deems everyone in the bar to be her new friends, and determines, with intoxicated zeal, to make a play for the man of her dreams. Gearhart is charismatic as gentlemanly bank clerk Paul Bishop, whom Addie secretly adores. Inconveniently, Paul is engaged to shallow, manipulative but lovely Maude (Victoria Mack, archly petulant), who secretly has several irons in the fire.

The entire supporting cast is period-perfect in their roles, including Karen Ziemba as good-hearted bar owner Gail, and James Prendergast as Dad Malone, Addie's kindly tenant who's also the bar's headwaiter. Lesley Shires and Tom Berklund play an attractive young couple who generously allow Addie to join in their tango act. Ron McClary provides a solid presence as bartender Herman, and Margot White is morosely funny as recently dumped birthday girl, Myrtle.

But the real birthday girl is Addie, who finds rebirth and new resolve to take charge of her life during the course of her blithe adventure.