Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Squabbles"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"Squabbles"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at Newport Playhouse is "Squabbles" which is set in an apartment in Stamford, CT. It pits a father-in-law against a mother in a succession of squabbles. Jerry Sloan is a successful writer of advertising jingles who is married to Alice, an equally successful lawyer. Living with the happy couple is the not-so-happy Abe Dreyfus, Jerry's curmudgeon of a father-in-law. The situation is exacerbated when Jerry's mother Mildred looses her house in a fire and needs a place to stay. Abe and Mildred can't stand each other but after a series of confrontations with each other they finally discover that the other old person isn't as bad as they thought. Throw in a constantly peeing Puerto Rican gardener, a card playing pal of Jerry's and the couple's German gestapo like nanny and you have the ingredients for this comic play directed by Morgan ban Droi and stage managed by Danielle Storer.

Rob Reimer plays the 73 year old curmudgeon who constantly complains and answers the phone with the call letters of a country western radio station. His wife has recently died, he suffered a heart attack and lives with his daughter and his husband. Things get worse when Mildred, his daughter's mother-in-law moves into the apartment with them after a fire burns her house to the ground. Sandra Nicastro tackles the role with gusto. She plays a cleaning fanatic who tries to take over the household and drive Abe out with their constant bickering. Their best scene takes place during a blackout during a winter storm when they finally connect together in more ways than one. The younger couple is played by Jason Heywood who has been at the Playhouse for the past 15 years and Rene Russo. Their exasperation at dealing with their bickering parents is very funny and they handle their roles with ease, playing well across from each other. The constantly peeing PR is played by Nishan Lawton who builds a hobby horse for the baby by following directions he has found in a magazine in their bathroom. Jim Kilavey plays Abe's card playing chum, Mr. Wasserman while Michelle Donovan nearly steals the show with her German nanny who shouts staccato orders at anyone trying to touch the baby. So for a fun evening out, be sure to catch "Squabbles" in Newport till May 7.

"Squabbles" (10 March - 7 May)

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