Rick Reynolds still seeking happiness 

Rick Reynolds has gone glitzy.

The California comic, known for his one-man confessionals “Only the Truth Is Funny” and “All Grown Up and No Place to Go,” is back with a new, similarly themed show, “Love God Sex (and other stuff I don’t have).”

This time, instead of playing at The Marsh — the small theater in San Francisco’s Mission district known for experimental and works-in-development (it did present Brian Copeland’s wildly popular “Not a Genuine Black Man”) — Reynolds is at the Union Square-area Marines’ Memorial Theatre.

And the show is directed by Jason Alexander, George of “Seinfeld” fame.

It indeed is bigger than it was in a workshop presentation earlier this year at The Marsh. There’s a real set — a 1960s-era kitchen table and chair, lamps, an easy chair and a little TV — and honest-to-goodness lighting effects. Reynolds, dressed up in a suit jacket and slacks, even alludes to these seeming “add-ons” that came courtesy of Hollywood’s Alexander.

Yet the heart of the show remains the same. Over the course of 90 minutes, Reynolds engagingly describes what he thinks has caused his often unhappy life: That, as a child, he felt unloved, and that he doesn’t have religion or a sexual relationship.

Of course, the stories don’t come out in structured form. His tales — sometimes harrowing, including anecdotes about being yelled at or beaten as a kid — also are poignant. Many are terrifically funny, although this new version is missing a riotous bit about performing standup in front of a hard-core prison audience.

The show covers Reynolds’ reminiscences from childhood, therapeutic attempts to save his faltering marriage, and the birth of his kids, now young adults (in the audience opening night).

Reynolds is fantastic at the aside, serving up hilarious musings about food, ragging on people who are able to keep a dish full of M&Ms on the coffee table, or describing the bliss that is pecan pie: “Candy in a crust.”

He’s not without optimism, as, toward the end, he barrels through a list of 100 things that please him, and appealingly asks folks in the audience to think up their own.

 

THEATER REVIEW

Love God Sex (and other stuff I don’t have)

Where: Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 16-17
Tickets: $35
Contact: (415) 771-6900; www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com

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Leslie Katz

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