Reviewed by Jeffrey R Smith of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle

The Aurora Theatre is currently presenting PALOMINO: a one-man, seven character play about a New York actor turned carriage driver; turned gigolo; turned kiss and tell author.

David Cale is the whimsical writer, capable director, and star of this tour de force.

PALOMINO explores the erotic and lucrative opportunities set before a handsome Irishman, who is sufficiently charged endocrinally, anatomically qualified and morally debased enough, to provide a mercenary verisimilitude of love to the cougars and dowagers of Central Park.

Whether the tender and ribald tales are fact or fantasy is up to the audience to decide: being an election year, the commingling of fiction and non-fiction has become a life style—particularly in California.

Cale is absolutely protean on stage: moving from one character to the next by merely shifting his gait, affecting a lilt, raising or lowering his pitch, and translating his body language.

Such nuances are the creative brush strokes he uses to vividly depict each new character.

Cale conjures up four distinct women and to the credit of his acting talent, he is not another cross dresser.

Even while garbed in the rudimentary vestments of a stable boy-one horse teamster, Cale facilely morphs from one horny society matron to another, and takes on three male roles—including a very compelling Irishman.

This is acting and storytelling at its best: minimal set, minimal props, minimal tech and minimal costuming all place the theatrical burden—the ability to suspend the audience’s sense of disbelief—on the shoulders a very capable actor.

This is stage magic bordering on the alchemical.

Politically and culturally to its credit, an Irishman is the main character and yet there is none of the obligatory, ancillary, or gratuitous British bashing that typifies a show with one or more Irish characters.

In this regard, Cale shows unusual and possibly unprecedented restraint.

Kieran McGrath refuses to be a victim of British Imperialism: instead, he is an autonomous Kerouacean wayfarer of the planet: he is the modern day Gaelic equivalent of Odysseus.

If you have ever imagined yourself as a Lothario for hire, or wondered what it would be like to insinuate your way in to the gilded boudoir of a Park Avenue apartment, this is your ticket.

This show is about taking charm, good looks, and a propensity for moral compromise to the marketplace, on the road, and on to Malibu, Monterey and Malta.

For a delightfully provocative evening call the Aurora box office at 510-843-4822 or surf over to for tickets.