note: entire contents copyright 2016 by Susan Nedar
at 2nd Story Theatre, Warren, RI
The current offering at the lovely and intimate Arctic Playhouse is a crazy romp called "My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad" by John Tobias. I had the pleasure of seeing this screwball comedy on Friday, and when I say screwball... I mean delightfully madcap SCREWBALL!
I'd give you a synopsis of the story, but then I'd be giving away the central plot ... and we don't want to do that, now do we? Suffice to say that when an affluent couple experience troubles in their boudoir, they'll go to great lengths to fix things!
Under the direction of John Faiola, (who also plays Mr Connelly, the hapless handyman) we witness first hand that it is indeed possible to stage a five person comedy within the confines of a small playing area. Faiola deftly blocks his actors to move effortlessly around a playing area that, to the average theater-goer simply looks like a beautifully designed and dressed set; but to the trained eye, one realizes the skill required to make the area work. Faiola hits the bullseye!
The lights come up on a burglar, played by Tony Annicone, entering the Griffin's lovely apartment, and finding the Griffins' stash of sex toys. Tony is a delight in this role. He is alternately nervous, and sassy - delivering is one-liners with great comedic timing. Tony steals the scene when he recounts his favorite jailhouse sex fantasy. Hilarious!
Playing the Griffins are, Kerri Ward, and John Campbell. Just a word here about Ms Ward. After leaving the show, I read the actors' bios and was very surprised to read that Ms Ward is actually rather new to theater. In essence, she never leaves the stage, and frankly, never stops talking! Ms Ward handled her role like a seasoned pro! You actually have to feel empathy for Mrs Griffin - because after all ... all she wants is to satisfy her husband's wild desires! Kudos Ms Kerri Ward! John Campbell as Mr. Griffin, carries his role off with extreme poise. Listen - I mean poise.
Without giving away the sight gags, I was impressed with Mr Campbell and his ability to keep a straight face! John Faiola, in his role of Mr Connelly, shows us is physical comedic talents, as well has his many facial expressions - all of which tell us that Mr Connelly is rather uncomfortable in this rather uncomfortable situation he's found himself in. John is the master of the facial expression. He is hilarious in his discomfort at his predicament. Poor Mr Connolly!
Rounding out the cast is Denise Izzi, playing the role of Louise - whom we meet late in the show, when she tells us she's been dumped by her husband. Denise gives us a laugh a minute with her sobbing through her story, only to find herself happily included in the Griffins' plans to fix their sex life woes. Overall, My Husband's Wild Desires is a very funny play, done on a gorgeous set, in a lovely little venue, run by very friendly people. What could be better?
Footlights Repertory Co., Inc.