‘The Odd Couple” – (Arctic Playhouse West Warwick, RI)

by Cindy Killavey

 

 

The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, The Arctic Playhouse, 117 Washington Street, West Warwick, RI through September 17

 

Oscar Madison and his card-playing cronies learn that Felix Unger is missing after his wife ends their 12 year marriage. When Felix arrives on the scene the friends try to cheer him up to no avail.. In the end, Oscar, who isn’t phased by clutter, insists Felix, “Mr. Clean”, stay with him. Oscar learns to regret this decision to the delight of the opening night crowd.

 

The card players include Tony Annicone as Speed; Anthony Capraro as Vinnie; J.P. McCormick as Murray and Bob Mignarri as Roy. This ensemble seamlessly trades barbs and witty dialogue and their reactions to Felix, crying in the bathroom and the mayhem when they think that he has swallowed a whole bottle of pills, draws hearty laughter from the audience.  The stage at this black box theater is intimate and directors John Faiola and Geoff Monti used some creative blocking for the several “chases” in the performance which the cast handled perfectly. Set changes were handled by the card players between the acts, another clever Directorial choice.

 

Henryce “Hen” Zannini and Denise Izzi are Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon These English “birds of a feather” are extremely entertaining.  The way they interact with each other would have you believing they really are sisters.

 

It’s easy to see that Fred Davidson (Oscar) and John Faiola (who wears two hats as Director and as Felix) have performed in these roles before. The chemistry between the two is palpable. Oscar’s eye rolls and bluster are a perfect foil for Felix’s mobile face and gestures. John’s ladle work is priceless.  When Felix turns what Oscar had hoped would be a romantic evening with the Pigeon sisters into a group sob fest, it’s the last straw.

 

Co-Director and first time Stage Manager Geoffrey Monti keeps things running smoothly throughout and the music choices are perfect.

 

For a wonderful evening of terrific theater, laugh-out-loud humor and delicious popcorn & cookies, don’t miss this show. Call for reservations as several performances are already sold out!!

 

www.TheArcticPlayhouse.com

401-573-3443

 

“YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU” (Community Players, Pawtucket, RI)

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

The final show of Community Players 96th season is “You Can’t Take It With You”, a 1937 Pulitzer prize winning comedy by Moss Hart and George F. Kaufman. Meet the Sycamore family, a collection of lovable eccentric incompetents who keep a printing press in the parlor, manufacture fireworks in the basement, are friends with an Ex-Grand Duchess, and includes a grandfather who doesn’t believe in paying taxes. When daughter, Alice falls in love with straight laced Tony Kirby and invites his conservative, high society parents to dinner, she orders her family to ”ordinary up”, which means act like normal people. As with most things in this wacky family, things don’t go exactly as planned. The important message is to live in the here and now, live life to the fullest and do whatever makes you happy. Director Patricia Hawkridge casts this huge show wonderfully. It is a positive and light hearted show that is definitely needed in these trying times we are living through now.

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THE MUSIC MAN (Theatre by the Sea, Matunuck, RI)

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

Bill Hanney’s Theatre by the Sea’s second show of their 84th season is “The Music Man” by Meredith Willson. This musical first opened on Broadway on December 19, 1957 and ran for 1375 performances. Robert Preston played the leading role of Harold Hill both onstage and in the 1962 film version. The show is set in Iowa in 1912 and is the story of the fast talking Harold Hill who cons the good citizens of River City into buying musical instruments and band uniforms by promising to create a boy’s band in the town.

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