note: entire contents copyright 2011 by Cindy Sue
Social Security" by Andrew Bergman
Directed by Tony Annicone
At the Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant
There's a lot to like at the Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant, the great buffet, the friendly staff, the intimate theater and fun filled cabaret. It's a wonderful night out.
The current production is "Social Security" by Andrew Bergman - a play with themes that are easy to relate to - empty-nesters, sandwich generation, demanding mother and straying spouse. Tony Annicone's talented cast admirably presents each nuance in this very funny show.
Jessica Grossman and David Adams Murphy portray Barbara and David, a couple whose whirlwind life is irrevocably changed by the bomb dropped on them by Trudy and Martin ( Leslie Zelle and Rick Bagley ) in the form of Mother played by Sandi Nicastro ( Molly Marks did the role for the first weekend ).
Jessica goes from in charge and sure of herself to harried, frazzled and unsure of everything with deft skill. She is very believable in this challenging role. David Adams Murphy is equally at home portraying the successful art dealer, caring spouse and "totally at a loss as to what's going on in his world" husband with aplomb.
Leslie Zelle as Trudy and Rick Bagley as Martin are well-matched as the take charge older sister and meek hubby. Their interaction and comic timing are spot on.
Sandi Nicastro and Molly Marks (I did catch both casts) handle the role of the demanding Mother-Sophie admirably. Another actress might easily over-act the part but these women made the character real. From the audience "chatter" after the show it was plain to see that we've all known someone like that. Without giving anything away, I will just say that some of the scenes Mom is in had us howling!
Jim Killavey portrays "Maurice" a famous French artist come to dinner. He is terrific in this role, evoking the spirit of "Maurice Chevalier" in his accent and personality. His befuddled look after being led into a closet and then released is delightful and his scene with "Mother" on the couch a real show-stopper. He and "Mother" hit it off and as usual, love changes everything.
"Social Security" goes until November 20th. Be sure to call ahead as this show has been selling out.