Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Belles"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Belles"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Community Players second show of their 84th season is "Belles" by Mark Dunn. It is about the six Walker sisters from Memphis, who are now living in different locations throughout the country and communicate entirely by telephone. Director Steven Pacheco chooses the best actresses for each of the roles and he uses a block box type of set with three different levels for each of the playing areas. He does a wonderful job of making the comic and dramatic moments mesh together with his six actresses.

Each sister has a distinct personality so you can tell them apart from each other with ease. The eldest sister, Peggy, tries to keep the girls up to date on their Mama and her various illnesses and accidents. Janette Gregorian plays this kindly sister who tries to get her siblings to come to visit Mama and delivers her lines with Southern lilt and interacts well with the others. The second oldest sister, Aneece is played by Alyce Fitzgerald-Hagopian. Aneece is a very bitter, bitchy alcholic who moved to Philadelphia to escape from the mother she blames for her unhappy childhood. Alyce's drunken scene is amusing but she really shines in her dramatic moments, the argument with Peggy and her revelation of the character's past. Karen Gail Kessler plays Roseann, the wife of a minister who is leaving her. She plays the scorned woman beautifully and is especially funny in the conversation with the suicide prevention operator. Karen has a great Southern accent and delivers the goods in both her comic and dramatic scenes.

The daffy sister, Audrey who is a ventriloquist is played by Mary Thompson. She has some hilarious moments with her dummy who she treats as a real little boy and even makes him talk to her sister, Peggy on the phone. Mary does a great job in this role after a ten year hiatus from Community Players. Laura Ash is a hoot as the new age sister, Sherry who wants to now be called "Dust". She uses a gong every time she is on the phone and gets to show the wild and crazy side of Dust. Her crazy antics keep giving the audience laughs every time she appears. The youngest sister Paige is played Amy Silva. Paige loves to play golf and is interested in snagging a boyfriend on looks alone but eventually realizs the error of her ways. The interaction among these six women will definitely show off their talent. So for an entertaining evening of theater, be sure to catch "Belles".

"Belles" (14 - 23 January)
THE COMMUNITY PLAYERS
Jenks Junior High, Division Street, PAWTUCKET RI
1 (401) 726-6860

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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