Theatre Mirror Reviews -"The Second Time Around"

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note: entire contents copyright 2012 by Cindy Sue

"The Second Time Around"

Theater review by Cindy Sue

Written by Henry Denker
directed by Matt Siravo & Tony Annicone
at the Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant

Samuel Jones played by Ralph Stokes and Laura Curtis portrayed by Molly Marks are a widower and widow who meet in a radiologist’s office and find they have much in common, especially the fact that they both walk upstairs at the same rate. They fall in love but this does not necessarily lead to marriage, what with provisions in wills, diminished pensions and lower social security payments. When they let their children know this, the unfolding “drama” leads to a very entertaining and funny production.

Amy Thompson plays the neurotic, uptight daughter Cynthia to perfection from the precise folding of her sweater to her horror at finding a coffee cup with lipstick stains on it to her slamming the door on someone she thinks is an intruder, she gets the play off to a rousing start. Cynthia is against the match from the get go and is sure Laura has “trapped” her father.

Kevin Killavey is excellent in the role of Mike. His energy, talent and comic timing keep the audience laughing from his “entrance” where he proves that an arm can emote to later when he lets his “finger do the talking.” At first he welcomes the fact that Samuel and his mother are a couple until he discovers they plan on “shacking up” together. How can he explain that to his children AND his wife?

Ralph Stokes and Molly Marks are delightful as the lovers. Their affection is charming to watch. It’s plain to see that these experienced actors are comfortable in the roles and with each other. They both do a wonderful job.

Tonya Free makes her playhouse debut in the role of Mike’s wife Eleanor. This stately red-head is wonderful as the domineering spouse who spouts information on the dangers of various food products and keeps her family safe by protecting them from things like ice cream, bacon and canned tuna.

David Adams Murphy plays Cynthia’s husband (and former therapist) Arthur. He is called in to convince the lovers of the error of their ways. His reactions are amazing especially when he gets himself into a “state” at being disagreed with.

Jim Bagley as Bruce (college aged son of Cynthia and Arthur) is delightful. It seems that on Tuesdays and Thursdays Samuel vacates his apartment and Bruce uses it for amorous encounters with his girlfriend. Bruce councils Samuel that “life is not fair” and that he cannot be a swinger--he needs to set a good example and get married.

Suffice to say all’s well that ends well and the show comes to a splendid conclusion leading to a very satisfied audience.

Directors Matt Siravo and Tony Annicone have done a terrific job with this talented cast. The set was designed by Fred Davidson and (a little bird told me) artistically painted by Tonya Free. Stage Manager Jonathan Keene handles lights and sound cues flawlessly.

The buffet at the Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant is always plentiful and delicious. The hardest thing to decide is which of the tasty selections to put on their generous platters.

A great meal; friendly and attentive wait staff; a wonderful play and then the opportunity to see some of the same actors in a witty cabaret is a delightful way to spend an afternoon or evening. The Newport Playhouse is handicap accessible and there is plenty of free parking.

"The Second Time Around (20 September - 4 November)
@ 102 Connell Highway, NEWPORT RI
1(401)848-PLAY (7529)

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide