Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Murder, Las Vegas Style"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"Murder, Las Vegas Style"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

North End Players current production is "Murder, Las Vegas Style" written by James Daab, it is an interactive dinner theatre murder mystery. Welcome to the Starlight Casino, Lounge and All Night Laundromat where you can gamble and wash and dry your clothes all in one place. Tonight the Starlight is hosting the Ultimate Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year Contest, hosted by Starlight's own Bobby Poundstone, assisted by the big boobed, Tori Tanuto and Stix, the mean bouncer and drummer who yells at everyone. The stage will be graced by the presence of some of the brightest fading stars this town's ever seen. Funny man Manny Bergman who everyone thought was dead, will be here as well as the vivacious, Leta Cantro who reminds one of Norma Desmond from "Sunset Boulevard". Eddie Vaccaro, a young hot ventriloquist, that has everyone's lips moving including his own, will also be here trying to win the night's honors. The contest judge will be none other than Frank Salerno. Old Green Eyes will decide who will be known as the Ultimate Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year. Add the Starlight Hostesses and a mysterious bus boy to the mix and you have the ingredients for the hilarious and side splitting comic romp that follows. The script is witty and well written and the food is scrumptious with insightful direction by Lynn Nadrowski, the show is a surefire hit with an appreciative and constantly laughing audience.

Not wanting to give away too much of the plot, I will discuss the performers and the roles they play, so you can obtain a flavor of this show. Lynn chooses seven topnotch character performers to pull off these colorful and crazy Las Vegas people, including casting herself as the vampy, Leta Cantro. She uses a cigarette holder while doing her lines and chatting with the audience. Lynn is very funny with her song about her three ex-husbands and what has happened to them. James Geyer is a hoot as the washed upped host, Bobby Poundstone, complete with an Elvis type wig.. He is a young man with a lot of talent who pulls off this role of professional fast talking club owner. James gets to yell at the obnoxious, bullying Stix who threatens the audience if they don't listen to her orders. Kristina LeDuc as Stix is constantly guzzling beer and hitting rimshots for the jokes in the show. Lisa Calkins is hilarious as the dumb blonde with big boobs who walks around in a robe most of the night. She gets to sing "Big Spender" with new lyrics for the show, showing off her strong singing voice and Betty Boop dumbness all night long. Willy Beatini, Jr. who last played Jesus in "Jesus Christ, Superstar" gets to show off his comic skills as Eddie, the nerdy, ventriloquist who's dummy Roscoe is missing his head. He searches for the head all night long and does some risque stuff with his puppet while doing so. Frank O'Donnell is very funny as Manny, the comedian that everyone thinks is dead. His quick and witty responses and ad libs kept the show moving along at a break neck pace with his not being able to tell dirty jokes during the competition as one of the highlights of the night. Rounding out the cast as the Frank Sinatra clone, Frank Salerno is William Beatini Sr. He gets to show off his wonderful singing voice in "Luck Be A Lady" and his comic imitation of Old Blue Eyes is perfect. The comic timing of everyone is perfect and their shtick as these crazy and wild people is right on the money, too. Rounding out the cast as the hostesses are Nicole Calkins and Kayla O'Donnell who are Lisa and Frank's daughters respectively. The scrumptious food at Lancellotta's Restaurant included salad, Italian bread, Pasta and either stuffed filet of Sole or Chicken Francaise with stringbeans and carrots, oven roasted potatoes, dessert and coffee. So for some very hilarious shenanigans, be sure to catch this traveling show at their next playing dates. Be sure to check the website for their next venue.

"Murder, Las Vegas Style" (20 January - Open Ended)
NORTH END PLAYERS
Lancellotta's Restaurant, 1113 Charles Street, PROVIDENCE RI
& other venues
1 (401) 722-7800

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |