Reviewed by Tony Annicone
The Granite Theatre's current show, "Bermuda Avenue Triangle" takes place in a Las Vegas condo. The daughters of two senior citizen widows buy them a condo to help them enjoy life. However, Fannie, the Jewish mother and Tess, the Italian mother love to be miserable and make everyone around them the same way. A loveable con-man, Johnny, changes their lives for the better. The result of these changes brings much laughter to audience and leads to the reconciliation with their respective daughters. Throw in a busybody, Rabbi in shorts, to this crazy show and you have the gist of the wonderful comic romp that follows. Director Arthur Pignataro hits pay dirt with this hidden gem of a show. It not only has a well written script but also has superb direction with excellent performances. his insight into the characters, his set up for the many comic moments and his attention to the smallest detail make this a must see show. Arthur is aided by the wonderful set design of David Jepson with the bright green and pink walls of the senior citizen condo( the colors remind Tess of Vicks Vapor Rub and PeptoBismal) and by the hard work of stage manager, Johanna Lockhart, who keeps things moving smoothly during the performance.
The three leading characters are fantastic in their roles. They handle the many comic moments beautifully and they excell at the tender moments, too. Ted Gavriluk plays Johnny, a bon vivant con-man who brings joy to the widows miserable lives. He listens to the monologues of the two women attentively and weaves his own sad tale letting the audience in on his con about his "dead" wife and made up children. Ted's comic antics and the way he transforms the two sadsack women is hilarious. The tango with the arthritic, Fannie and the removal of the curse on Tess are laugh out loud moments in this show.
Margot Porazzi plays Tess who has been under a curse for 45 years. She is a comic monster of a mother who when finally released from the "curse", can sing, dance and enjoy life and sex again. Margot's transformation from a strict, upstanding, Catholic to a wilder, sex starved woman who likes to grab Johnny's backside while smothering him with kisses, is a sight to behold. She handles her comic dialogue, swearing in Italian and facial expressions expertly throughout her performance. The third part of this triangle is Fannie, played by Linda Fouche. Her character is a weepy, whiny pain at the start of the show but by show's end, she is a sexy, happy broad. The tango scene is hysterical with Linda's stiff legged moves as Ted whirls her around the stage and after the transformation, she moves about like an older Rockette. She handles the comic situations well and especially shines in the reconciliation scene with her daughter, showing her adeptness at handling a dramatic moment, too. The growth of both characters gives this show the added dimension it needs to show great acting talent at work.
Sharon Miceli as Angela, Tess' daughter and Heidi Thompson as Rita, Fannie's daughter play their parts of the long suffering offspring wonderfully. They both show how much they care for their mothers but at the same time show their exasperation at their unbearable negative behavior. The daughter's converse on the phone to comment on how their mother's are behaving and when they find out about their menage-a-trois, Sharon and Heidi make it a funny moment. The four women make the ending into a heartwarming one and reward the audience at the antic of the evening. John Andriso as the nosy, Rabbi lends many funny touches to this show. His description of the naughty deeds between the women and Johnny and the attempt at the women trying to match him up with the other is handled very well. John's looks of fright and indignation are right on the money in these scenes.
Another highlight of opening night goes to caterer, Lorain Simister who makes many delicious treats for the audience. Among them were 11 pounds of mouth watering pulled pork, baked kidney beans, a Moroccan omelet, many various butters and spreads, salad, homemade onion bread, applesauce and so many other foods if listed would be longer than the review itself. Lorain is a fabulous cook and she runs Lor Concierge, catering firm. Call her at 401-596-9685, you won't be disappointed. Her associate, Kim, runs Kimberly Jones Confections. Her scrumptious candies usually disappear before the main course. Kim made two candies this time, a dark chocolate with peanuts and white chocolate with raisins and cranberries. Delicious food on opening night and an excellent show are at the Granite Theatre. So make sure you catch this outstanding show which runs till November 11th in Westerly, RI, just tell them Tony sent you.