note: entire contents copyright 2011 by Cindy Sue
Leslie and Jon are two guys who share an apartment. Jon is two weeks away from marrying Kate. Leslie and Kate have fallen in love. Jon has been filing taxes for himself and Leslie as “Married” for the last several years (a fact Leslie is not aware of). You can’t fool the IRS forever and an agent calls to set up an interview to meet the “Mrs.” Guess who has to portray this mysterious wife? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Kate. Add to the mix-up a superintendent who drops in unexpectedly to see if Jon & Leslie are hiding women, Jon’s mother who shows up to help with the wedding, Leslie’s girlfriend, and a unlikely Justice of the Peace and you have: “Love, Sex and the IRS” a rollicking evening of comedy.
Ian Cooper makes his Newport Playhouse debut as Jon. He plays the role with a fine balance of emotion. Nishan Lawton is Leslie and has the audience on his side from the start. He does need more practice walking in heels though. Erin Sylvia is delightful as Kate the bride-to-be. Molly Marks as Vivian, Jon’s mother, is hysterical from the get go. Her mobile facial expressions and physical humor kept the audience in stitches. Bob Perry is Jansen the superintendent. His first entrance with beer cans sticking out of his utility belt set the tone for his character. Rick Bagley is Floyd, the IRS agent. His portrayal is reminiscence of Stan Laurel and exceedingly funny. Danielle Mayer is wonderful as Connie, Leslie’s girlfriend. Her exit slung over the super’s back was unforgettable. Newport Playhouse co-founder Jonathan Perry makes a memorable appearance as Grunion near the end of the play. His costume and hair evoked more than a few laughs from the crowd.
Director Tony Annicone does an excellent job with this fine cast, keeping the action moving. Stage Manager Hennryce Zannini is spot on with lights and cues. Fred Davison’s set design is functional and attractive.
Cast members are joined by Kyle Medeiros, Katherine Coolidge, Hennryce Zannini and Jonathan Keene for a tuneful cabaret after the show. The patriotic portion of the program had more than a few of us teary-eyed.
The food at the buffet is plentiful and delicious, the waiters & servers are attentive and polite. Parking is plentiful and the Newport Playhouse is handicapped accessible. For a wonderful evening (or matinee) of great food and entertainment my advice is to go see “Love, Sex and the IRS”. Where else can you laugh about the Internal Revenue Service?