Come Blow Your Horn Trumpets Family

Alan (Joe Fiske) tries to convince Connie (Carla Betz) not to quit her job in ELATE’s production of “Come Blow Your Horn” by Neil Simon.

Alan (Joe Fiske) tries to convince Connie (Carla Betz) not to quit her job in ELATE’s production of “Come Blow Your Horn” by Neil Simon.

Blending zingy one-liners and zany family goings-on, Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn loosely examines what it means to grow up and be a man. ELATE Theatre’s revival of Simon’s inaugural play combines fine acting and a nice comic touch to gently promote making responsible life choices.

Womanizing playboy Alan Baker (Joe Fiske) welcomes innocent younger brother Buddy (Jon D’Acunto) into his apartment after Buddy leaves the family home and steps out on his own for the first time. While Mr. and Mrs. Baker (Stanley Brown and Marilyn Lazik) kvetch over their empty nest and wandering children, Alan increasingly longs for Connie (Carla Betz), one of several women in his life, while Buddy falls for Alan’s irrepressible lifestyle. Can the Baker family come to terms with what it means to grow up and let go?

Director Fiske draws fine performances from his cast, who bring nice energy, chemistry, and timing to the production. D’Acunto gives thoughtful vulnerability to the uptight Buddy, while Fiske imbues the playful Alan with teasing charm. Sonia Rockwell’s sexy bunny Peggy Evans contrasts nicely with Betz’s strong, thoughtful Connie. Brown’s dry, sarcastic father plays well against Lazik’s overbearing, guilt-giving mother.

Production work is spot-on, particularly the accessories decorating the swinging 1960s bachelor pad.

A story about finding love, responsibility, and yourself, Come Blow Your Horn combines funny quips and family values to reveal one man’s gentle growth into a responsible human being.

ELATE Theatre presents Come Blow Your Horn Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 19 at the Lincoln Stegman Theater in the Emmanuel Lutheran Church located at 6020 Radford Ave. in North Hollywood. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students 13 and under. Call (818) 509-0882 for reservations.

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