Who knew a Tupperware party could be so much fun?

The Perfect Plastic Container The perky neatness of Tupperware is a metaphor for the seemingly orderly lives of five Midwestern women in this highly entertaining comedy by writer-director Doug Stone. The perennially pregnant Sinclair, ditzy Tracy Ann, superficial Jean and career-minded Diane meet at devoted Bonnie's house for an afternoon of small-talk and sandwich containers amid the turbulent times of the '60s.

Blowing the Lid Off It doesn't take long for alcohol to turn the garden party atmosphere on its head. The actors make good use of the richly decorated set as they start to lose their inhibitions, and their heavy revelations are interspersed with wacky stories and biting put-downs that keep things from getting stale. As the only male in the cast, Shawn Curran has a likeable realness as Bonnie's husband that helps balance and frame the action. The material here is familiar--women struggling with lost youth and missed opportunities--yet it's handled with a frankness and humor that makes it compelling, and yes, fresh.

óJulie Mehta