note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Larry Stark
Conductor F. Wade Russo
Scenic Design by J. Michael Griggs
Lighting Design by Scott Pinkney
Costume Design by David Costa-Cabral
Assistant Stage Manager Katherine Shea
Production Stage Manager Kate Croasdale
Rick Shaw.....Brendan McNab
Corrina........Kathy St. George
Kerri Jill Garbis
Neal Richard Lee
As I waited for the train home I heard that calm, unhuried, deep voice of the MBTA say first
That's what a little too much Christopher Durang can do to a person.....
Everything about this no-intermission romp is shamelessly shallow, arrogantly self-referential - and funny as hell. J. Michael Griggs' fluidly gaudy set and David Costa-Cabral's sensuous costumes make it look like a comic-book; Peter Melnick's music is light, bouncy, rhythmical and satyrical; and Durang's effrontery in sending-up his own send-up again and again must be heard to be believed.
What, you want a Plot, after all that?
Okay, the seven-member cast walks off a gangplank stage-left in a dozen or more different costumes (Oh to be a dresser backstage!), and then sort themselves into five main characters and a "Trenchcoat Chorus" of two (Kerri Jill Garbis and Neal Richard Lee) who continue the costume-changes to play everyone-else. The year is 1952, Ike is president, but this is (until the last few minutes of the show) Macao. (It's in China --- which I didn't know either till Durang had the only oriental in the show (Austin Yu as, I kid you not, Tempura) tip me (and probably You, I'll bet!) off to the truth.
Ariel Heller plays Mitch, who is trying to tape-record a confession from a person who shot a girl in Dallas, just to see her.. No. Sorry. Who shot her and blamed it on Mitch. He wears a black homburg and won't tumble to sexy women.
Aimee Doherty, in a silver slinky dress that gets sprayed on every performance, is a saloon-singer between men and between jobs. A tough cookie with a heart of marshmellow.
Kathy St. George is the saloon-singer (Corinna) whom Lureena replaces. She is addicted to pancake flour (She smokes it in a big long pipe and seems Very Upset when her pancake-connection is a little late with a delivery.) She doesn't seduce Mitch either. But she is incredibly inventive in stage-business and comic timing --- as always.
Tempura is the steLeotypicaR YeRRow PeaLR (How does he DO that???), pretending obsequiousness and cursing the white trash in asides, but obviously has Hidden Agendas --- as do everyone on stage.
Rick Shaw (I told you Durang was shameless, didn't I) is the name of the Ticky Ticky Tock nightclub where the two broads get into hair-pulling battles over who's singing tonight. (Tempura: "Sing 'Pletty Moon Over Macao" Lureena: "But I don't know the words!" T: "Make 'em up!") Rick is played exceptionally well by Brendan McNab, who stepped in with only 7 days rehearsal when Paul D. Farwell smashed an elbow.
If this review isn't enopugh for you read Beverly Creasey's. I got it in e-mail but refused to read it before I wrote my own. But if she didn't like it, We Will Have Words.
( a k a larry stark)