Picks and Pans Review: American Playhouse: the Diaries of Adam and Eve

updated 05/01/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/01/1989 01:00AM

PBS (Wed., April 26, 9 P.M. ET)

C+

Take TV actors—decent, journeymen B+ actors—put them onstage, and an unfortunate transformation often takes place. They think they're really ACTING. Meredith Baxter Birney may not be the most subtle of performers as Mom Keaton on Family Ties, but here—onstage in Texas—she loses whatever subtlety she has; she starts PROJECTING her lungs out. She's performing with her (almost-ex-) husband, David Birney, in a play he adapted from two pieces by Mark Twain; she's Eve and he's Adam. But their show isn't really a play; there's little drama and practically no interaction. Instead of talking to each other, Adam and Eve spend the hour SHOUTING at the audience trying to make them CHUCKLE at Twain's wit. It is a show of dueling monologues. It is a touch precious and OVERDONE.

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