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Noel Coward with yoga pants

http://opinion.latimes.com

That's my review, and I'm sticking with it. The play opening next week at the Geffen Playhouse, ''The Female of the Species,'' is a Cowardian drawing-room comedy with a touch of Feydeau, updated and relocated to an upstate New York country house, and centered on Margot Mason, a celebrity feminist intellectual author played pitch-perfectly by Annette Bening. Margot has a touch of feminist pioneer Germaine Greer -- not surprising, because, like Greer, the playwright, Joanna Murray-Smith, is Australian. Bening makes Margot her own, not only as she stalks the stage but when she's shackled to her desk -- not merely figuratively, as all writers are, but quite literally. Sounds kinkier than it is. I saw a preview with some women friends who enjoyed it hugely, which made me wonder whether it was the stage equivalent of a chick flick, but I kept glancing around the theater. The men were laughing too, maybe more than the women.

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