Theatre Mirror Reviews - "It Runs in The Family"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2008 by Tony Annicone

"It Runs in The Family"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Granite Theatre's current show is the Ray Cooney British farce "It Runs in the Family". Dr. David Mortimer is about to address a neurologists' convention, which will probably earn him a knighthood. While putting the final touches to his speech an old flame arrives and announces that their liaison years ago resulted in a son who is downstairs desperate to meet his dad. Frantic to hide the catastrophic news from his wife and the hospital authorities, David is forced to invent not one but two non-existent husbands! Director Gary Sullivan picks the best people for the 12 roles in the hysterical show. He is aided by stage manager, Morgan Ban Draoi who keeps things moving smoothly all night long and Arthur Pignataro who runs the light and sound.

The laughter is non stop at all the happenings in the show from hanging out on a window ledge to dressing up as a matron with fake boobs to squirting a cop in the crotch with seltzer water from a bottle. Playing the lead role of David is Nick Cianci who hadn't done theatre during his 12 year Navy stint but his quick witted line delivery and wonderful acting prowess carry the day. Playing the multicolored long haired son,Leslie, is Patrick Wall who works at the Mohegan Sun. He captures the madcap behavior of the youth searching for his long lost father after 18 years. His mother is well played by the beautiful, blond, Danielle Aube. Her startling appearance at the hospital after all those years is a laugh out loud moment. David's long suffering wife,Rosemary who is hiding a secret of her own is played by another pretty blond, Claire Millous who is able to speak five different languages in real life. Her real life husband to be, Geoff Leatham plays the stuffed shirt hospital administrator Sir Willoughby Drake who wants the lecture to go smoothly. The biggest scene stealer in this show is Brian Olsen as Dr. Hubert Bonney who saves the matron's life after she falls off the window ledge. He dresses up as the matron and a vicar to fool the cop. URI junior, Benjamin Grills tackles the role of Dr. Connolly who is in charge of the Christmas pantomime. He is over six feet tall and when he is dressed as the matron with a Marilyn Monroe type of wig, the laughter roared across the footlights.

The real matron of the hospital is fantastically played by veteran actress, Carol Anne Williams. She falls out the window while chasing Leslie on the ledge while she is clutching a huge hypodermic needle. Another hilarious scene is when Brian mistakenly pulls down her large pantaloons and then he pretends to be madly in love with her. The police sargeant who is constantly sprayed with water is played by the comical, Greg Bliven. He looks like he could break the other actors in half with his strength and he is the one constantly put upon. Keith Brayne plays the real Mr. Leslie who is in one of the wards. He is supposed to be elderly and is constantly pushed into walls and doors. He gets to spray the cop's crotch several times leading to hilarity from the crowd. Last but not least is Carolyn Trebisacci who plays two roles in the show. She is a nun and also Hubert's mother who is happy to have a grandson but is it really hers or not. Not wanting to give away any more of the plot that has to be seen to be enjoyed. Just know that Gary gives his performers a lot of sthtick to do in this show. So for an excellent night of theatre, be sure to catch "It Runs in the Family" before time runs out.

"It Runs in The Family" (27 June - 27 July)
GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY RI
1 (401)596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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