Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Weekend Comedy"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"Weekend Comedy"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Mill River Players' current show is "Weekend Comedy" written by husband-and-wife team, Sam and Jeanne Bobrick in 1985. An older couple in their 50's, Frank and Peggy have booked a cabin in the Catskills for Memorial Day weekend. They have been married 23 years. Frank is reluctant to leave home and worries about everything, especially his job in office supplies. Peggy is hoping the weekend getaway will inject some romance back into their marriage. Due to a booking mistake, into the cabin walk Jill and Tony, a younger couple in their 20's who have also rented the same cabin for the weekend. Romance seems to go by the wayside as the two couples get to know each other with the two men sparring verbally with each other about life, work and relationships. The older couple has been married a long time while the younger couple have been living together for three years. Frank has worked hard all his life, while Tony comes from a wealthy family. Peggy cooks everything from scratch, while Jill offers some frozen dinners. The younger couple listen to rock and roll; Frank prefers silence. Jill and Tony talk about their travels to Europe; Frank thinks a business trip to Cincinnati is good enough. And these are only some of the adventures during their weekend in the cabin. Director Alex Aponte casts his show wonderfully, keeps the pace of the show moving constantly and finds the funny moments in the two contrasting couples and their arguments and misunderstandings which leads to a rib tickling night of comic entertainment.

The older couple, Frank and Peggy are played by Bob Goodwin and Lee Rush. Bob makes a triumphant return to the stage after an eight year hiatus as this Archie Bunker type character. He is very funny as this loud mouth man who pretends to be miserable but really isn't underneath it all. Bob gets to moon the young couple, cheat in a race with Tony and throttle Tony after he says Frank's life is shit. He delivers his clever one liners with ease and makes Frank into a loveable curmudgeon by the end of the show. Lee is a hoot as the long suffering wife who has put up with Frank's antics throughout the years but still realizes she loves him through it all. One of her funniest lines is that Frank thought that Meg Ryan's character, Sally was constipated in the movie "When Harry Met Sally" during the orgasm scene in the restaurant. Lee also shines in the scene when Peggy finally stands up to Frank's verbal abuse by pouring a beer on his head. The younger couple, Tony and Jill are played by real life husband-and-wife, David and Michele Graf. Tony starts out as a spoiled brat who demands to get his way in the first act but undergoes a transition in the second act where he becomes more likeable to the audience. David does an excellent job in his argument scenes with Bob and the final confrontation where Jill demands to be married. The second act also gives Michele a change to show off her acting abilities. She shows that Jill is more than an airhead when she finally stands up to Tony. This transition sequence is handled beautifully by David and Michele where both couples learn from each other, leading to a happy ending for them and an appreciative audience.

Artistic director, set designer and head chef, Chuck PetitBon creates a beautiful rustic set for the show and cooks the scrumptious before the show dinner for the hungry audience. The meal consists of all you can eat chicken vegetable soup, home made rolls, carrots and string beans, oven roasted white and sweet potatoes with Italian seasonings and an apple turnover with caramel sauce. There are various entrees and for this show I had the melt in your mouth pork loin with brown gravy and stuffed mushroom cap. So for a topnotch evening of dinnertainment, be sure to catch the hilarious, "Weekend Comedy" with the Mill River Players. ( Chuck's lovely wife, Marcia produced the show and did costumes while Heather Carey stage managed this fast paced comedy and Alex's lovely wife, Stacy did the lights and sound.)

"Weekend Comedy" (9 June - 1 July)
MILL RIVER PLAYERS
499 High Street, CENTRAL FALLS RI
1 (401) 721-0909

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