The current show at the Newport Playhouse is "Never Get Smart with an Angel". It's winter, 1941, and the world is changing. In a very Italian neighborhood, emigrant Salvatore Bustebrizzo, a loud, bigoted and funny eccentric lives over his shoe repair shop with his 30 year old son, Paolo. Suddenly into Sal's richly ethnic Italian world comes his son's non-Italian girlfriend, Dorothy and her banker father, John Willis Boothe. Only Uncle Carmine can resolve this spirited conflict that this generates. The show's "angel'' is Sal's far from angelic wife, Lucia, who has been dead for the past seven years. Only Sal can see her and hear her wise-cracks. The show is humorous from start to finish with a few poignant moments along the way. Sandy Cerel directs this well written show with a strong hand and makes it a thoroughly enjoyable show with the numerous comic lines. She casts these six roles very well, winning them a thunderous ovation at curtain call.
The show is very heart warming. Playing the lead role of Salvatore is Richard Pacheco who is onstage almost the whole show. He and Ed Carusi as Carmine have fantastic Italian accents. Their tirades at each other and their longtime business secrets are comic moments in the show. Their belief in praying to certain saints for whatever the situation calls for, has Sal opening a closet filled with statues of dozens of saints, leading the audience to burst out in long moments of laughter. The gorgeous apartment set by Fred Davison is filled with many religious objects and captures the flavor of the 1940's. Ed as Carmine has many funny lines, making them all hit pay dirt while stealing many scenes along the way. Carmine uses reverse psychology on Sal when he tells him not to let Paolo marry Dorothy. Ed has a very humorous moment as he hugs Dorothy, liking the way she feels. To give away anymore of their hilarious lines would spoil it for the audience. Fernando Ramos plays Carmine at alternate performances.
The other performers do incredible work in their roles, too. Handsome, debonair, Jacob Davis and gorgeous, brunette, Jane McCarron play Paolo and Dorothy. They make the young lovers interesting with their line delivery and their reactions to the two crazy men who badger, cajole and love them. Jacob and Jane are marvelous in their roles. Jim Killavey is terrific and is a hoot as the hot headed father who does a slow burn while being insulted by the bigoted twosome. He also shines in a drunken, hung-over scene later in the show when his character receives some unexpected news. The angel of the show is well played by Sandra Nicastro who is constantly knitting wings and delivering hilarious one liners to Sal who is the only one who can see her. She tells Sal of future events and how things are in heaven, bringing merriment to the show while doing so. Camille Terilli plays the Angel at alternate performances. So for one of the best written shows around, be sure to catch "Never Get Smart with an Angel", you will enjoy it, the all you can eat buffet and the entertaining Christmas cabaret after the show.