Picks and Pans Review: Andre's Mother

updated 03/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

PBS (Wed., March 7, check local listings)

A+

Take a fine playwright (the gifted Terrence McNally) and equally fine actors (Emmy winners Richard Thomas and Sada Thompson). Add to that the topical and heart-tugging crisis of AIDS, and what you get is a pretty wonderful piece of theater for the tube.

At times stirring and at other points wryly amusing, the production (well-directed by Deborah Reinisch) centers on the mostly frosty relationship between a gay man, Thomas, and Thompson, the mother of his dead lover.

In less capable hands, the subject matter might have become far less thought-provoking and involving. It is extremely satisfying, however, to watch Thomas, of Waltons fame, and Thompson, of Family fame, wrap themselves around such crafty dialogue. The lines don't transfer all that well to paper; much of the magic here comes from simple looks and glances. Helping provide them are Oscar nominee Sylvia Sidney as Thompson's cantankerous mother and Haviland (Who's That Girl?) Morris as Thomas's sister.

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