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'Of Good Stock' theater review -- 2.5 stars

Greg Keller and Alicia Silverstone in

Greg Keller and Alicia Silverstone in "Of Good Stock." Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

"I am trapped in a bad chick flick," declares the eldest of three sisters in "Of Good Stock," a gentle comedic drama by Melissa Ross that could be considered the stage equivalent of a typical chick flick, which is receiving its New York premiere Off-Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production.

Appropriately enough, Alicia Silverstone, the star of the best chick flick of the 1990s (i.e. "Clueless"), is in the cast.

Considering that the play revolves around the struggles of three grown-up sisters, it could also be seen as a contemporary riff on Chekhov's "Three Sisters."

Set on a summer weekend at a family home in Cape Cod, Jess (Jennifer Mudge) prepares with her supportive husband (Kelly AuCoin) for the arrival of her younger sisters Celia (Heather Lind) and Amy (Silverstone).

The caustic, restless Celia unexpectedly brings along her new heavily bearded, Montana-bred boyfriend (Nate Miller), while the sensitive Amy is joined by her fiance (Greg Keller), though Amy's childish reactions (she often runs up the stairs in crying fits) eventually lead him to bolt for good.

If there is little plot to speak of besides sitcom-style scenes of confrontation, bonding and heavy drinking, the play does provide full portraits of the characters, most especially Jess, who is fighting cancer and has tried to look after her sisters since the death of their father, a famous author and notorious womanizer.

The production (staged by MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow) features spirited performances all around, a detailed revolving set and quite a few cute and touching moments, but it doesn't quite overcome the play's light-as-a-feather flimsiness and predictability.

If you go: "Of Good Stock" plays through July 26. West 55th St. between Sixth and Seventh aves.,


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