Theatre Mirror Reviews-"Bermuda Avenue Triangl"

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entire contents copyright 2015 by Tony Annicone

"Bermuda Avenue Triangle"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Renaissance City Theatre Inc., the producing entity at the Granite Theatre's current show is "Bermuda Avenue Triangle" by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna. The show takes place in a Las Vegas condo which is purchased by the daughters of two senior citizen widows. They want their mother's to enjoy their lives, however the two mothers love to be miserable and make everyone around them the same way. A lovable con-man changes their lives for the better, bringing much laughter to the audience. It also leads to a reconciliation with their respective daughters. Add a nosy Rabbi to the mix and you have the ingredients for the comic romp that follows.

Director Brian Olsen hits pay dirt with this hidden gem of a show. He directs the show with a lot of comic insight into these characters. He brings out the funny moments beautifully and a heartwarming conclusion. It is an adult comedy and the making out and dancing scenes between Johnny and the two women are hilarious. David Jepson designed the Las Vegas condo set for this show while the colorful costumes are by. Stage manager Anna Convery keeps things running smoothly all night long.

The three leading characters are played by topnotch performers. They handle the funny and tender moments wonderfully. David Foulkes plays the bon vivant rascal who brings joy and a lot of sex to the lives of the two miserable widows. He listens to the monologues of the two women attentively then weaves his own sad tale of his "dead" wife. David lets the audience in on the con about his family while he transforms the two women's lives. The tango with the arthritic, Fannie and the removal of the curse on Tess, are laugh out loud moments due to the talents of these three performers.

Christine Reynolds plays the role of Fannie, the long suffering, Jewish widow. Fannie is weepy and whiny at the start of the show but Johnny's love for her turns her into a blonde hair vamp by the end of the show. Her eating of a corned beef on pumpernickel is marvelous as she and her daughter fight over the sandwich.The tango scene is hysterical with her jerky leg movements in the first act and in the second as an older Rockette. Christine is an adept comedienne who also handles the touching scene with her daughter with ease. Her first entrance hanging on to Fannie's coat is hilarious, too. The third part of the triangle, Tess, the Italian mother is played by Beth Jepson. She is an older shrew who is a very religious, Catholic at the start of the show but with Johnny's help, turns into a sex starved woman who loves having Johnny teach her to swear to get rid of the curse, saying "Son of a Bitch" and "Fongool.". She wears a very funny outfit from Trashy Chic after she becomes a new woman. Beth is very humorous once the curse is lifted by drinking brandy and swearing. She has some great facial expressions and also has a tender scene with her daughter, too. The growth of both Fannie and Tess gives the show the added dimension to display Christine and Beth's talent.

Playing the long suffering offspring are Sharon Shalloo as Rita, Fannie's daughter and Claudia Bach as Angela, Tess' daughter. They show how much they care for their mothers while showing their exasperation, too. Sharon and Claudia also handle the phone conversation scenes talking about their mothers behavior comically and their funniest is when they discover the menage-a-trois. John Lamar rounds out the cast as the busybody Rabbi Levine. He is the welcome wagon at the condo and his costumes are hilarious especially the garters to hold up his socks. John's description of Fannie and Tess' naughty behavior with Johnny at the pool and their attempts to match him up with each other is hilarious. So for a laugh riot of a well written comedy, be sure to catch Renaissance City Theatre's splendid production of "Bermuda Avenue Triangle" at the Granite Theatre. It is one of the must see comedies of the summer season

"Bermuda Avenue Triangle" (24 July - 23 August)
The Granite Theatre, 1 Granite Street, WESTERLY RI

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide