Reviewed by Tony Annicone
Community Players’ third show of their 96th season is “Tomfoolery”. “Tomfoolery” is a musical comedy revue of the witty, wicked and thoroughly twisted world of famed satirical songwriter, Tom Lehrer. In concerts, TV appearances and a series of now-classic recordings, the Harvard-educated math professor delighted millions of fans during the 50’s and 60’s with his dry, cynical but good humored attacks on the A-bomb, racism, pollution, the military, the boy scouts and, of course, mathematics. Nothing is sacred in this revue where no one is spared. Lee Rush picks a topnotch 6 member cast while Maria Day taught them all the tongue twisting and comic lyrics. Bill Whitehead supplies the dance steps needed to pull off this clever and fun filled musical revue.
This show can be compared to “Laugh-In” or “Saturday Night Live” where one of the performers describes what is happening in the next number of this 28 song revue. The talented cast members are Ken McPherson, Paul Oliver, Chris Margadonna, Alyce Hagopian, Vivian Carrette and Michael Thurber. Lee gives them clever shtick to perform as they are huddled around a bar onstage left while the four piece orchestra is onstage right. The ensemble numbers are “Be Prepared”, a send up of the Boy Scout’s motto, “National Brotherhood Week” where everyone hates everyone else, “Christmas Carol” where they sing about the commercialism of the holiday, the peppy “Vatican Rag” where they are dressed up as nuns and the final number is a spoof of what will happen during World War III with “We Will All Go Together When We Go” which ends the show with a big bang. Since there are so many numbers, I will mention a few highlights. “She’s My Girl” a torch song by Chris where he sings about everything that is wrong with his girlfriend while Michael sings “The Elements” to the tune of Modern Major General by Gilbert and Sullivan. Alyce’s comic number is “In Old Mexico” about a bullfight gone wrong while Vivienne’s is “I Got It From Agnes” where you think she is talking about a virus being passed among them but it ends up being a giant lollipop. Paul’s comic number is “I Hold Your Hand in Mine” while Ken’s is “The Masochism Tango” where he describes all the torturous things he’d like done to him. Also funny is the comic never ending “The Irish Ballad” about a girl killing her family while the most well known song is “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” which opens the show. Maria has some clever and funny ad libs with the cast and audience. She will be playing Mrs. Paroo in “The Music Man” at Theatre by the Sea this summer. So for a fun filled musical revue that will leave you laughing all night long, be sure to catch “Tomfoolery” at Community Players.
TOMFOOLERY (25 March to 9 April)
Community Players, Jenks Auditorium, 350 Division Street, Pawtucket, RI
1(401)726-6860 or www.thecommunityplayers.net