Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A Whole Lotta Cheatin Goin On"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"A Whole Lotta Cheatin Goin On"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at the Newport Playhouse is the naughty,bawdy Country Western comedy called "A Whole Lotta Cheatin Goin On". This award winning comedy is set in the west Texas watering hole of Lowake as well as a motel room and a beauty salon. (The unit set was designed by Russell Budlong with expert set decoration by Jason Heywood who does the decorations at the Newport mansions and Kyle Medeiros.) Gossip, the town's major pastime, ignites a blaze of infidelity that engulfs three couples with the zany precision of a French farce. The narrator/ story-teller/singer, Sid who owns Bluebells, weaves this tale about his cousin, Maybelline, the overweight waitress who wants to be in love, Bo Bob, the dimwitted mailman, Clarence, the local stud and mechanic who's been messin' with Ovella, the town bitch, since high school, Sara Lee Turnover, the beautician is his faithful girl and Teddy Joe is Ovella's husband who is more brawn than brain. Director Matt Siravo chooses the best 7 performers for these roles and keeps the action moving with some wonderfully funny hijinks and shtick to make the audience laugh and laugh all night long while stage manager Alicia Rivera keeps the technical end of the show running smoothly.

This show is an fine example of an ensemble piece where all the performers work perfectly together. Kyle Mederios plays Sid who is a good ole boy who plays guitar and sings dirty songs. His biggest hit song is "Your Cheatin' Heart" as he enters and exits the show. He is hysterical in this role and captures the audience's hearts with this portrayal. Kyle's character speaks directly to the audience about the happenings in the town, letting the audience force him into giving them a happy ending. He has numerous one liners that will keep you laughing constantly. Michael Johnson is a hoot as Bo Bob, the postman who is as dumb as a post. He reminds you of Forest Gump and his natural comic instincts will have you rooting for him to find the girl of his dreams. Sandi Nicastro plays the overweight, Maybelline who gets transformed with heavy makeup, a red haired wig and red bow, into a "two bit hooker" to help her find a man. She is a terrific comedienne who uses physical humor to spice up her role. (Her frilly lowcut outfit shows off her boobs while she wears black knee hi stockings, red panties that ride up on her butt as she mounts Bo Bob on a chair.) One of the many funny moments in this show.

Lisa Reimer as Sara Lee does a wonderful job as the sexy, beautician who changes the lives of the other two women in the show. (One for the better and one for the worse but you'll have to see the show for that one.) She hurls insults and one liners with precision. Sara Lee is tempted to stray because of her cheating lover, Clarence but remains faithful to him. Brian Simpson plays her pig of a boyfriend who loves to swill beer constantly. He wants to marry Sara but fornicate with Ovella. Brian makes a great mainstage debut in this role. Patty Mott plays the town bitch, Ovella. She does a great job in this role as the bedhopping, fast talking tramp who quotes lines from soap operas. Her revelation scene as she sings into a boot is very humorous. Last but not least is Nishan Lawton as Teddy Joe, the musclebound, knucklehead who finallly learns of his wife's infidelity. The funny thing about his role is that he gets pushed around more than anyone else in the show. Nishan plays this redneck moron very well. Before the show you will enjoy a delicious buffet prepared by Sue Raposa. My favorite dish is the pot roast. So for an excellent evening of dinner, show and after show cabaret, be sure to catch "A Whole Lotta Cheatin Goin On". Tell them cousin Tony sent you catch a little bit of Texas in Newport, RI.

"A Whole Lotta Cheatin Goin On" ( 19 March - 9 May)
THE NEWPORT PLAYHOUSE
102 Connell Highway, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 848-7529

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |