Theatre Mirror Review>When The Cat's Away"

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entire contents copyright 2015 by Tony Annicone

"When The Cat's Away"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Newport Playhouse's current show is "When the Cat's Away" by Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke. Based on a popular British sitcom "George and Mildred", this play is a classic farce. Mildred has booked a second honeymoon but George isn't interested in going on it so Mildred asks her sister, Ethel to go with her. Ethel recently left her philandering husband, Humphrey and moves in with Mildred and George. When the gals leave for their trip to Paris, Humphrey convinces George to enjoy themselves without their wives. They go out on the town and bring back Humphrey's secretary and her suicidal friend, but unknown to them, their wives have returned. What follows is a farcical situation as their try to save themselves from the wrath of their wives.There is much scrambling to keep them apart. Director Daniel Lee White infuses his six member cast with high energy and gives them plenty of clever shtick to perform to keep the audience rolling in the aisles all night long.

Jim Killavey plays George, the curmudgeon excellently. He is a hen pecked husband who want to stay home and in doing so becomes embroiled in a sticky situation that is hilarious. Jim commands the stage in this role almost being on stage for the entire show. He gives George a comical laugh that leaves the audience in stitches. Alessandra Grima is marvelous as his long suffering wife who yearns for some tenderness from her husband. She commands the stage as Mildred, the domineering wife who has a swear jar to keep her husband in line. When she wants him to take her on a second honeymoon to Paris and he weasels out of it, she decides to take her sister. The plane is delayed because of a storm and when she discovers a girl in the house, all hell breaks lose. What happens next has to been seen to be believed. A suprising ending occurs during the many twists and turns of this comic romp.

John Brennan is fabulous as the smarmy, wealthy playboy, Humphrey. He wants to make up with his wife because all the business stuff is in her name. However he still wants to carry on clandestine meetings with other women especially his secretary, Jennifer. Olivia Sahlin is terrific as the wealthy, Ethel who insults George and Mildred's house, food and surroundings with aplomb. Her reactions to the craziness around her is very well done. One of her funniest lines is to George on his small love making prowess. Rounding out the cast are Abigail White as Jennifer and Meredith Imbimbo as Shirley. They are hysterical as these two young chicks who come there after drinking too much with George and Humphrey. Shirley's dress gets wet and she strips down to her garter belt and stockings. Merry mayhem ensues from there on. So for a madcap romp of a farce, be sure to catch "When The Cat's Away" at the Newport Playhouse. Enjoy an all you can eat buffet before the show and a fun filled cabaret with a lot of singing and dancing afterwards. The topnotch two story set was built by Fred Davison and designed by Tonya Free who also stage manages this show. She keeps things running smoothly all night long.

"When The Cat's Away" (19 March - 3 May)
NEWPORT PLAYHOUSE
@ 102 Connell Highway, NEWPORT RI
1(401)848-7528

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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