"Breathe" Some Fresh Air 

This normality diminishes a couple of segments. The show-ending scene titled "In the Park" with Donna Coghill and Fernando Rivadeniera playing old friends just being old friends borders on Hallmark-greetings-style preciousness. But this is more than made up for by the evening's best vignettes. In the sidesplitting "Goddess," workaholic Ray (Matt Beyer) sees a vision of a goddess (Maggie Roop) that compels him to break free from his suit-and-tie life. This happens at a hilariously inopportune time for his business and life partner, Todd (Matt Shofner).

The moving "In My Body" features Rivadeniera as a priest and Shofner as a New Age spiritualist trying to bridge the massive gap between them. Their journey to love is quietly and believably depicted, punctuated by a soaring and inspirational title song. Even the show's more mundane plotlines are buoyed by the simply melodic songs crafted by co-playwrights Dan Martin and Michael Biello.

Director Ted Boelt has assembled a stellar cast, with Shofner finding opportunities to shine the brightest. With its straightforward stories, "Breathe" honors the extraordinary in the ordinary, offering a refreshing and uplifting take not just on gay and lesbian life, but on life in general. — David Timberline



"Breathe" plays at Fielden's Cabaret Theatre, 2033 W. Broad St., through Feb. 26. Tickets cost $14-$16. Call 346-8113.


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