OK, so maybe 50 isn't really the new 30, but neither is it usually — as Plymouth Playhouse's "Big Pants & Botox" would have you believe — so grim that it might as well be the new 65.
This one-woman show opens on the detritus of a birthday party. As newly 50 Barbara (played by Kimberly Richards) cleans up confetti, streamers and empty wine bottles, she confides her deepest secrets and worries to the audience.
Some of her problems are serious indeed, including the fact that her husband has vanished after gambling away her daughter's wedding fund. Others are run-of-the-mill fodder for easy laughs: catty friends, a few too many pounds, a weak bladder and so on.
The amiability and eccentric good humor that Richards brings to this role don't completely offset a flabby script that leaks easy sentiment and unearned pathos.
Playwright Louise Roche has created a character that could more credibly have come of age in the 1950s than the 1980s, a cowed victim whose fondest wish is that her deadbeat husband will return at least long enough to walk her daughter down the aisle. The juxtaposition of this sorry situation with jokes about Botox parties and passing gas in yoga class is disconcerting, to say the least.
While it offers some mild entertainment, "Big Pants & Botox" would benefit from a little tucking and tightening.
Lisa Brock is a Twin Cities theater critic.