Theatre Works final show of their 19th season is "Bermuda Avenue Triangle". The show takes place in a Las Vegas condo which is purchased by the daughters of two senior citizen widows. They want their mothers to enjoy life, however the two mothers love to be miserable and make everyone around them the same way. A loveable con-man changes their lives for the better, bringing much laughter to the audience. It also leads to the reconciliation with their respective daughters. Add a nosy, Rabbi to the mix and you have the gist of the comic antics and situations that follow.
First time director, John Ricci, hits pay dirt with this hidden gem of a show. He directs his cast with a lot of insight to their characters and brings out the comic moments very well. It is an adult comedy and the making out and dancing scenes between Johnny, the con-man and the two ladies are hilarious. John also designed his bright pink and green condo set which fits this Las Vegas setting beautifully. His stage manager, Josh Smith, keeps things moving smoothly during the scene changes with the help of his assistant, Maryann Ricci. The colorful costumes are provided by Sharon Charette.
The three leading characters are played by strong, veteran performers. They handle the funny and tender moments wonderfully. Mark Anderson plays Johnny, the bon vivant, rascal who brings joy and a lot of sex to the widows miserable lives. He listens to the monologues of the two women attentively, then weaves his own sad tale about his "dead wife". Mark lets the audience in on his con about his family while he transforms the two women's lives. The tango with the arthritic, Fannie and the removal of the curse on Tess, are laugh out loud moments between all three actors.
Mark's real life wife, Connie, plays the role of Fannie, the long suffering, Jewish widow. Fannie is weepy and whiny at the start of the show but Johnny's love turns into a blonde vamp by the end of the show. The tango scene is hysterical with Connie's stiff legged, jerky moves in the first act and her older Rockette moves with her man in the second act. She is an adept comedienne but handles the touching scene with her daughter with ease, too.
The third part of this triangle, Tess, the Irish mother is played by Carol Varden. She is an older shrew who is a very religious, Catholic at the start of the show but with Johnny's help, she turns into a sex starved woman who loves having Johnny slap her backside. She wears an outfit from Trashy Chic with a bright green bra and pink boas after she becomes a new woman. Carol is very humorous once the curse is lifted by drinking brandy and swearing in English and Italian. She also utilizes many good facial expressions and shows some tender moments later on with her daughter. The growth of both Fannie and Tess give this show the added dimension, to show Connie and Carol's acting talents at work.
Playing the long suffering offspring are Denise Luther as Rita, Fannie's daughter and Christine Cardoza as Angela, Tess' daughter. They both make their stage debuts in these roles and they handle them with ease. Denise and Christine show how much they care for their mothers while showing their exasperation with them, too. They also handle the phone conversation scenes about their mothers behavior and their discovery of the menage-a-trois antics very comically. Dan Gaines rounds out the cast as the busybody, Rabbi. His description of the naughty behavior between the two women and Johnny at the pool and the attempts by the women to match him up with other are handled very well.
So for a fun night of comedy be sure to catch this laugh riot of a show at Theatre Works. (The group celebrates its 20th anniversary on June 29 and be sure to call Connie so you can join in the festivities.)