Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Love, Sex & The I.R.S."

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"Love, Sex & The I.R.S."

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at Mill River Dinner Theater is the wild farce, "Love, Sex & the I.R.S. which contains twists of fate and mistaken identities. Jon Trachtman and Leslie Arthur are out of work musicians who room together in New York to save money. Jon has been filing the tax returns listing the two men as a married couple. The day of reckoning comes when the I.R.S. informs the "couple" they're going to be investigated by a Floyd Spinner. Leslie masquerades as a housewife, aided by Jon's fiancee, Kate. To make matters worse Leslie and Kate have been having a fling behind Jon's back. Jon's mother unexpectedly drops in from Chicago to meet her son's fiancee while Leslie's girlfriend, Connie shows up demanding to know why Leslie has changed and won't see her anymore. Throw in a busybody, beer swilling landlord and a surprise guest at the end of the show and you have the makings of the madcap romp to come.

The two lead actors are excellent in their large roles with enormous amounts of dialogue. Ken Koury makes Jon into a whirlwind of energy while trying to fool everyone in sight. His monologue about what he did to Kate is hysterical. Greg Barbon is a hoot as Leslie who has to wear makeup, a dress and woman's shoes to fool the others. He is one ugly broad who delivers his comic oneliners with gusto almost stealing every scene he is in. Greg's sinus clearing when he gets nervous reminds you of Felix from "The Odd Couple" and his expert honking wins him many laughs in this show as does his falling off a window ledge dressed as a woman. Playing the role of Kate is the pretty blond haired, Elizabeth Cunha who gets chased around the couch by three of the men and she belts one of them in the head with an empty bottle. She recently was accepted into the Masters of Fine Arts at RIC. One of the scene stealers of the show is Carol Varden who plays the befuddled, mother of Jon. She faints on cue and delivers some clever and witty one liners. She also gets to slap the I.R.S. man while saying "That's for my tax return in 1962". Carol's drunken scene is hilarious as she runs amok in this house of wacky people. Another scene stealer is Paul LaVallee as the lecherous, drunken Floyd Spiner. He chases Kate around the couch uttering, "It's Kismet. Kiss me Kate." The scene where he is conked in the head with the bottle is funny as is Greg and Elizabeth trying to prop him up on couch twice. The crazy landlord, Mr. Jansen is played with manic energy by Doug Cameron. He enters with a face mask and a tool belt in one scene and proceeds to swipe Jon's beer by hiding the cans under his t-shirt and in the tool belt. Doug also keeps checking upstairs to make sure there are no women living in the apartment. Connie is played wonderfully by Sarah McLean. She makes this nervous character funny when she hits Jon in the arm with her purse several times and is horrified at Leslie's weird behavior in wearing a dress. Rounding out the cast is director and head chef, Chuck PetitBon who plays the mysterious Mr. Grunion who's brought to the apartment by Mrs. Trachtman after finding him on the subway. To reveal who he really would spoil the plot. A word of praise goes to Chuck for the delicious dinner before the show. You get all the rolls, veggies and oven baked white and sweet potato wedges for dinner plus salad with vingarette dressing. There are five different entree selections each more mouth watering than the next. This time I had the scrumptious chicken cordon bleu and for dessert, strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. So for a fun filled evening of dinnertainment be sure to go see this funny, farce before it's sold out. Just give Chuck's lovely wife Marcia who also is the producer of the show, a jingle by phone or email her to reserve your seats.

"Love, Sex & The I.R.S." (30 July - 29 August)
MILL RIVER DINNER THEATER,
499 High Street, CENTRAL FALLS R I
1 (401) 721-0909

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