Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Crossing Delancey"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"Crossing Delancey"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Granite Theatre's current show is the delightful romantic comedy, "Crossing Delancey" by Susan Sandler. The story is about Izzy, a young Jewish woman and her relationship with her grandmother, Bubbie. It is where the old world traditions of Bubbie clash with Izzy's contemporary ones. Izzy is infatuated with an author but Bubbie wants to have great grandchildren and hires Hannah, a matchmaker to fix her granddaughter up with the pickle man. Gary Sullivan directs his five performers perfectly, obtaining many laughs and a well deserved standing ovation at the close of this show.

Paula Prendergast plays Izzy who works in a bookstore, visits her Bubbie on Sundays and lusts after Tyler Moss, her favorite author. The character of Izzy also narrates the vignettes of the show and the lighting changes symbolize her dreams. Paula conveys her love for her grandmother, distaste for the pickleman and Hannah and her longing for the author. The symbolic gift of a new hat from Sam, the pickleman, helps Izzy decide what is important in her life. Veteran actress, Molly Marks commands the stage in all her scenes including her interpretations of dreams and her belief in pushing for a match for her beloved offspring. Molly's reactions and interactions with the other characters are perfect. Some of her hilarious moments include when she pulls up layers of clothes to give Izzy $500 to make what she said about Izzy's dream come true, her disgust at Hannah's gluttony and her hysterical reaction to Sam at the end of the show. This last scene is priceless and as Bubbie would say, it proves the old ways still work in these current times. Brava.

Another scene stealer in this show is Carol Anne Williams as Hannah. She wears a blond wig, padded bra with bird seed and hilariously funny and outlandish outfits. (The character reminds you of the mother on "The Nanny".) Carol's Hannah eats nonstop in all the scenes in Bubbie's kitchen and puts food in doggie bags to take home with her. Her one liners are wonderfully delivered and she receives nonstop laughter from them. Bill Martuscello plays the role of Sam and gives it the warmth needed. His winning personality makes you root for the pickleman to obtain the woman of his dreams. Sam is a wise man who lives in the present but still believes the old values of his father are still important. The pompous ass author, Tyler Moss is well played by David LaRocque. He pays no attention to Izzy until he wants to use her for his own ends. He captures the role of this cad beautifully and deserves to be booed as this jerky character. Gary directs this show wonderfully with his blocking, stage business and character developments. The gorgeous set by David and Beth Jepson, consists of three playing areas including Bubbie's old fashioned apartment on stage left, a park bench on center stage and Izzy's bookstore on stage right. It captures the atmosphere of the East side of NYC beautifully. The stage manager and numerous props are handled by Terri Fauerbach and the lights and sound are by Morgan Ban Draoi. So for a trip to New York, be sure to catch "Crossing Delancey" at the Granite Theatre.

"Crossing Delancey" (2 - 25 June)
THE GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY R I
1 (401) 596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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