Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Out to Rocky Point"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2010 by Tony Annicone

"Out to Rocky Point"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at Daydream Theatre Company is an original show called "Out to Rocky Point', a tribute to the famous amusement park in Warwick, RI. Lenny Schwartz has done it again with a cast of 14 performers. He has a deft eye for comic situations having reviewed two previous shows, "The December Rabbi" last year and "Kung-Fu Babies" in 2002. Lenny has written a funny story for his current show at Daydream Theater Company which is mixed with reflective moments of the people that were there that historic day. Lenny was there the last day the park closed on August 31, 1995 and it made such an impression on him that he decided to write a play about it so future audiences can relate to how it felt to be part of the history of this amusement park that entertained many generations of people. For those of you that were there, memories will be stirred by this show. "Out to Rocky Point" is a coming of age story about the time in your life when you are forced to think about your future when you make a lot of decisions. He infuses the show with high energy and some clever shtick with pratfalls. Lenny does double duty on this show, not only being the author but directing the piece, too. He has written over 20 original plays that have been performed in many states as well as in New York City. His riotous script will have you laughing all night long. As one of his characters says "You have to experience love even though it isn't returned" explains how these relationships can be viewed.

Lenny creates a show about personal relationships and the twists and turns they take during our lives but he puts a comic spin on it. It makes you think back to when you were a teenager. Producer Jim Belanger and Set Designer Lloyd Felix's hard work to reproduce the nostalgic memories of the park, splendidly. Trinity Repertory Theatre lent them some of their set from "The Fantasticks".The audience walks thru the Arch as they enter the theatre and are given wristbands to wear just like we did at the actual Rocky Point. Belanger says "This play will touch everyone in some way." David Bettencourt, the director of the first-rate documentary, "You Must be This Tall" lent the company a car from The Skyliner for the show. Two characters ride in it which garners many laughs from the crowd as the car gets stuck in midair. From the city of Warwick, Lenny obtained a car from "The House of Horrors". As two characters go through it, Lenny uses sound affects and special lighting to recreate the spookiness of the original. Lenny founded his company 10 years ago and has been at Bell Street Chapel for the past six years. The audience leaves the theatre with many happy memories of Rocky Point and enjoys some outstanding comic acting from Lenny's performers. It is the time after summer ends when you must make decisions about the coming of autumn. The younger members of the audience obtain a flavor about what Rocky Point was like during this show. It is a trip down memory lane for those of us of a certain age.

Not wanting to spoil the show for the audience, I will only be able to say who plays certain characters. Playing the mysterious figure, the Park attendant is Geoff Monti who I directed in "The Case of the Smoking Gunn" for Whodunnit Mystery Theatre in 2003. He is a dynamic actor who captures the essence of this madcap character with a couple of reflective ones along the way. Lauren Usataszewski who I reviewed in "Urinetown" and "Blithe Spirit" at URI also plays a friend of the park attendant. She is also an intriguing figure and she does a marvelous job as this sympathetic character. Two best friends who come to the park on the last day are Jason and Dave. They are played beautifully by Jim Foley and Sean Carufel who wears a mullet wig as Dave. They have many comic situations and one liners that are hysterical. The characters realize that friendship is an important aspect of their lives. Dave has a crush on Jason's younger sister, Kelsey played by Tara Gray. She first appears as a doormat to Swift who orders her around but she wins the day later on in the show by her strong will and an admission of true love. Matt d'Oliviera is a hoot as the cad who steals 23 girls from Jason and beats him up. Swift takes them to the forest by the flume. I last reviewed Matt in "The December Rabbi". Another scene stealing character is the off center nerdy girl who has a mad crush on Jason, Zoe. Played splendidly by Kaitlyn Vollucci, she rants and raves about how she loves him madly. She cries at the drop of a hat and has many funny scenes including leading Jason out of the House of Horrors with her flashlight and opening a banana seductively. Kerri Montgomery is hilarious as the sexy dumb blonde who can't remember Jason's name while Briana Butterworth plays her younger sister, Joanne who wins many laughs as she explains she is only 14 in one scene. Rounding out the cast are Stephanie Carey, Sara Bartel, Kat Harvey, Kathleen Seigriff and Kara Cancelliere as wild and crazy women at Rocky Point. So for a fantastic trip back to the fun filled days at this classic landmark, be sure to run to see this show before it rides out of town.

"Out to Rocky Point" (15 April - 1 May)
DAYDREAM THEATRE COMPANY
@ Bell Street Chapel, 5 Bell Street, PROVIDENCE RI
1(401)644-2293

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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