Theatre Mirror Reviews "The Sugar Bean Sisters"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2011 by Tony Annicone

"The Sugar Bean Sisters"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The second show of The Community Players' 91st season is the New England premiere of Nathan Sanders' "The Sugar Bean Sisters", a southern Gothic comedy of romance, murder and alien abduction. Sisters Faye Clementine and Willie Mae Nettles have returned home to their ramshackle abode after a trying day at Disney World:Faye forgot the car was in the Goofy parking lot, and more shattering, Willie Mae's wig fleew off while she was riding Space Mountain. Throw in an eccentric "reptile woman", a handsome Mormon bishop, and a mysterious exotic dancer and be prepared for some down-home Southern humor with pop culture weirdness. The evening gets more complicated as the sisters are visited by this wild night club performer, the Mormon bishop Willie Mae has a crush on, and the local "reptile woman" who has a way with snakes. All this, and Faye is waiting for some Martians to take her away from it all. This off beat comedy has been described as a blend of "Crimes of the Heart'' meets "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", with a touch of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind''. Director Vincent Lupino casts these five roles beautifully and elicits topnotch performances from his cast.

Vincent surrounds himself with topnotch tech people. The stunning set of the Nettles home and surrounding swamp land is by Brian Mulvey, the expert lighting and special lighting effects are by Ben Green with sound design by Dan Fisher and the lovely wild and crazy costumes by Marcia Zamerelli. Janette Gregorian is a hoot as Willie Mae who is madly in love with the Bishop She steals many a scene with her wild and crazy antics. Karen Gail Kessler plays Faye Clementine Nettles, a manish, older sister and delivers a tour-de-force performance with many funny one liners.Faye makes up words as she goes along, winning many laughs. Do you want me to stick a broomstick up my ass and sweep the floor at the same time is one of Faye's one liners. She waits for the Martians to come and take her away. Their tension filled relationship is hilarious as it enfolds throughout the evening. Barbara Schapiro is terrific as Vidalia Sparks and she is hilarious in many scenes especially during a surprise revelation and in the outhouse . Alice Fitzgerald-Hagopian is the Reptile woman who has intuition on what is going on and can smell a snake at fifty paces. She also wins many laughs. Rounding out the cast is Paul Collins as the Bishop. To say anymore or reveal too much will spoil the show for the audience. So for a fun filled and wild and crazy show, be sure to catch, "The Sugar Bean Sisters". It brings you some down home humor with a poignant moment thrown in near its conclusion.

"The Sugar Bean Sisters" (13 - 22 January)
THE COMMUNITY PLAYERS
@ Jenks Auditorium, Division Street, PAWTUCKET RI
1(401)726-6860

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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