Theatre Mirror Reviews-"My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad"

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entire contents copyright 2014 by Kevin Thomas

"My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad"

Reviewed by Kevin Thomas

"My Husbands Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad" is a throwback to a French comedy of manners, mixed with the modern day sensibilities of film directors like Judd Apatow or the Farrelly Brothers. "My Husband's Wild Desires" tells the story of a couple trying to right the ship in a struggling marriage, and they use every trick in the book to do so. They even cite a specific book: "Live Your Fantasy" by Dr. Leopold Baumgardner for their inspiration, and seem to fail in their interpretation of the book at every step of the way.

Cynthia Killavey commands the stage as the unforgettable Olivia Griffin, a woman at then end of her rope willing to try anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to save her marriage.The first person she lures into her web is the rubber-faced Connelly, played with adept energy and agility by John Robert Faiola. Failoa brings his comic chops to the role, handing the physical demands with grace and style and letting us see a very special side of  Connelly in the "radiator" scene. Killavey and Faiola take charge of the opening stanza of the script, giving life to words that, in weaker hands, could have seemed vanilla. Killavey's versatility as an actress combined with Failoa's boundless energy help wheel the show along until the unexpected and hilarious introduction of Mr. Charles Griffin, played by Cynthia's real life husband, Jim Killavey. Jim Killavey as Charles Griffin is a gravel voiced, hard nosed, sharply dressed businessman with a lot of "wild desires". Jim and Cynthia both step out of their comfort zones with these commanding and at times risque performances, but both bring an unmistakable confidence to their roles. Jim's rough portrayal of Griffin is a hilarious interpretation in contrast to his characters strange demeanor, and Killavey proves his willingness to put himself on the line for a laugh every moment he is on stage.

As Mr. and Mrs. Griffin try to ignite the fire in their relationship with Connelly as kindling, Tony Annicone shows up as the Burglar to throw water on the whole shebang. Annicone changes things up as the mischievous and dastardly burglar, bringing new tension and a drastic shift in power. While Annicone did a wonderful job adding a "pinch" of humor as the Burglar, he did an even more masterful job as director of the entire production. Annicone's sense of physical humor, adept hand at honing in on comic timing, and the ability to craft the perfect sight gag give a tremendous boost to the production. The final piece of the puzzle arrives with a bang in the form of Leslie Zeilie as Louise, the heart broken sister of Olivia Griffin. Zeile arrives with some incredibly sincere and real sadness and fragility, then deftly switches to comedic power and triumph. From Zeile's entrance to the final moment of the production, the entire cast is a whirlwind of energy, excitement and laughter. Every member of the cast has impeccable comedic timing and works well to move the production towards its hilarious conclusion.

The production also takes place on the beautiful set designed by Stage Manager and Production Manager Tonya Free. Free builds a beautiful, luxurious apartment with accents of an Italian Villa, with set dressing and various furnishings provided by cast member John Faiola and his company Inspurations Draperies & Window treatments.

So come see "My Husbands Wild Desires" at the Newport playhouse, and stay for the Cabaret featuring alll new black outs and a beautiful rendition of John Lennon's Imagine sung by playhouse Alum Jonathan Keene, I promise it will be an evening you will never forget

"My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad" (27 March - 24 May)
THE NEWPORT PLAYHOUSE
@ 102 Connell Highway, NEWPORTI
1(401)848-7529

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