The Huntington Theatre Company’s production of William Inge’s “Bus Stop” is the kind of light, romantic comedy that’s perfect fare for date night or a mid-week matinee.
It’s a charming little tale that boasts great acting, an amazing set and the impeccable direction of Nicholas Martin. And you’re sure to leave the theater having laughed plenty, gotten a little weirded out by one of the creepier characters and certainly been touched by the story’s bittersweet ending.
But it’s not as innocent as it may at first seem. Set in Kansas in the 1950s, “Bus Stop” has all the charming characters of any American small town. A hard-working woman who owns a diner, a bright-eyed teenage girl brimming with naive enthusiasm, a burly sheriff and a bus driver may seem to be out of their league when they’re forced to spend time with an alcoholic pedophile, a fast-and-loose lounge singer and a couple of rambunctious cowboys. But it’s game on as they all scheme to get what they want.
Karen MacDonald is sheer perfection as the wise and slightly weathered diner owner, dispensing wisdom while desperately seeking a cure for her own loneliness. Ronete Levenson nicely captures the naive essence of the young waitress, while Nicole Rodenburg shines as the sexy girl rebuffing the advances of a cowboy she really seems to like.
Noah Bean is a delight to watch as the rambunctious cowboy trying to lasso the girl of his dreams, and Henry Stram will make your skin crawl with his disturbingly authentic embodiment of the former college professor looking to lure love in his own disturbing way.
Through Oct. 17
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Ave., Boston
MBTA: Green Line E to Symphony