Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Falsettos"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2008 by Janine de Souza

"Falsettos" Rings True!

Reviewed by Janine de Souza

FALSETTOS, Turtle Lane Playhouse’s newest production, hits all the high notes!

This 1992 Tony Award winner tells the tale of Marvin (James A Fitzpatrick III), who leaves his wife Trina (Kate deLima) and teenage son Jason (Jimmy Larkin) for his gay lover, Whizzer (Ronald Pompeo, Jr.). Throw in a single psychiatrist, Mendel, (Robert Mattson) with boundary issues and a couple of love struck lesbians (Jaime Steinbach and Jessica Shulman McGettrick) and you’ve got a musical that’s funny, witty, and gives you a front row seat to the conundrums of an unconventional love story…not to mention the zimmist over a Bar Mitzvah. Oy vey!

The hilarity begins with the opening number, “Four Jews in a Room Bitching”…Need I say more? It’s a catchy and clever introduction to the main characters and gets the proverbial ball rolling. Later on, deLima’s “I’m Breaking Down” brought the house down as she tries to make sense and come to gripes with her meshugge situation. But folks, this ain’t THE GOLDBERGS with its “tied up with a bow see ya next week” endings. Before Trina knows it, she climbs onto her kitchen counter in her apron and sensible shoes and belts out her frustration. You go girl! Here, any woman can relate, especially this one with two energetic toddlers afoot. deLima shines and shimmies through this delightful piece. And I’d be a total schmuck if I forgot “The Baseball Game,” another homerun for the evening with its laugh out loud lyrics. But the fun is also tempered with some very poignant and memorable moments. The first one comes when Marvin finally connects with his sulking and confused son in “Father to Son” and at the very end with the ghost of Whizzer in “What Would I Do?” Earlier, AIDS has claimed Whizzer’s young life and is just beginning to wrap its insidious death grip around the gay community. To help out, TLP is generously donating a portion of its proceeds from each performance to the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, a not-for-profit, community-based health organization.

So get to TLP and catch FALSETTOS. It’s only playing until October 12th and you’ll be glad you did!

"Falsettos" (12 September - 12 October)
TURTLE LANE PLAYHOUSE
283 Melrose Street, NEWTON MA
1(617)244-0169

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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