Richard Isen's new musical Chance is subtitled "A Musical Play About Love, Risk & Getting It Right," but it's hard to fathom what love has to do with it. Certainly it's about lonely people hungry for a connection, but if they're looking for love, they're looking in all the wrong places.
After a workshop production in New York in 2011, the show is being given its world premiere by New Musical Theater of San Francisco, a small company that until recently was called Not Quite Opera Productions, best known for its long-running show Absolutely San Francisco The small Alcove Theater in the heart of San Francisco's theater district is filled with folding chairs for the audience, the action taking place in a relatively cramped space all around the edges of the room.
Gregory (a mild-mannered Richard Hefner) is a wealthy, fifty-something business consultant who seemingly has no friends and rarely leaves his fancy apartment covered with old movie memorabilia. (We don't see the decor in Anthony Dunnigan's utilitarian set, just a few necessary pieces of furniture.)
The only person he has to talk to is a classy, imaginary drag queen who shows up mysteriously in his apartment one day and just doesn't go away, a grand dame wearing a glamorous glittery gown (costumes by Corrine H. DiTullio) and quoting old movies incessantly. This nameless apparition, called The Lady in the program, is played by "gender illusionist" Randy Roberts, who's also starring in his own show Randy Roberts Live! Tuesday nights in the same theater through July 23.