Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Skin Deep"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2011 by Tony Annicone

"Skin Deep"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The first show of Granite Theatre's 11th season is "Skin Deep". A large, lovable, lonely-heart named Maureen Mulligan, gives romance one last shot on a blind-date with a somewhat rough around the edges Brooklyn bar owner, Joe Spinelli; she's learned to pepper her speech with jokes to hide insecurities about her weight and appearance while he's outrageously forthright, says everything that pops into his head. They were set up on the date by Maureen's sister, Sheila, and her husband, Squire, who are having problems of their own: Sheila undergoes a non-stop series of cosmetic surgeries to hang onto the attractive and much-desired Squire, who may or may not have long ago held designs on Maureen, who introduced him to Sheila. This show is peppered with more hilarious one-liners than a night at the Comedy Connection. There is also a couple of heart warming moments in the second act. Director Arthur Pignataro casts the best four performers in these roles and obtains stunning comic performances from them.

Arthur gives each of his performers their moments to shine in this show and gives them a lot of clever comic bits to play,too. David Jepson built a gorgeous set for this show with religious statues on an upstage table and a big photo of the Infant of Prague overlooking the New York apartment. Stage manager. Ann Gestrich keeps things running smoothly, also delivers Chinese food in one scene off stage, while Arthur handles the lighting and sound for the show especially impressive is the tea kettle whistle. Lee Rush commands the stage as Maureen who is a dental hygienist. She is a natural born comedienne and makes all her lines hit pay dirt. Some of Lee's funniest lines are when she prays to Saint Appolonia who is the patron of dentists, orders Chinese food, eats ice cream from the carton, wise cracks about weighing 12 pounds less when she leans to the left and numerous conversations with her sister, Joe and Squire. Her reactions when Joe tells her she has nice legs is hysterical. Deb Bacewicz is topnotch as Sheila, who jumps from one plastic surgery procedure to the next to keep a spark in her marriage. She is a Nicole Kidman look alike. Deb is hilarious as this vain self absorbed character. She wears sun glasses in the second act to cover her crows feet surgery that gives her two black eyes which Joe thinks happened because Squire punched her in the face. Deb is a hoot when in the doctor's office exclaims the surgery hurt like hell but the pain killers are marvelous. Sheila's husband Squire is played marvelously by Bill Martuscello, who is very suave and debonair in this role. Some of his funny lines include his making fun of Sheila's many surgeries, "find your lips wherever they are", ogling a girl doing yoga while riding an exercise bike while Sheila says he should get a penile implant and talking to Sheila on a cell phone while in Maureen's bathroom. Jude Pescatello is terrific as Joe with his fantastic Brooklyn accent. He has many hilarious lines including his funniest "Take the friggin rose", talking about ax murderers, peeing her off and explanation of his phone number as being magic 5. Joe also brings Maureen a cake, returns to the apartment to chase Squire around the room which won many laughs. I don't want to give away too much of what happens so I won't spoil it for the audience but Arthur keeps the show in constant motion and with excellent pacing and line delivery by his performers. The laughs are plentiful, winning the cast a standing ovation at their expertise. So for a sparkling brand new comedy, be sure to catch "Skin Deep" in Westerly at the Granite Theatre.

"Skin Deep" (11 March - 3 April)
GRANITE THEATRE
@ 1 Granite Street, WESTERLY RI
1 (401)596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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