Producer Matt Siravo and Director Rob Reimer have discovered a hidden gem of a show with their latest production at the Newport Playhouse, "Beau Jest". Not only does this show have a superbly well-written script with good and insightful direction, it also has six multi-talented performers to make it a laugh riot from start to finish. It is a show not to be missed.
Laura Ionata plays the whirling dervish Jewish daughter who tries to fool her parents from finding out she's dating a Gentile. Laura as Sarah and Mike Viccione as her brother Joel (a psychiatrist who sees through her scam) provide the set-up for many of the show's humorous dialogues, but both of them shine in the confrontation scene with each other. Two talented young actors making their first appearance at The Newport Playhouse, and making a splendid one, too.
Kelly Williamson plays Sarah's blonde-haired beau, Chris Cringle. He makes the most of his stage time with good delivery of lines and very funny deadpan looks at his rival for Sarah's affections. (His circumcision line elicited many laughs.)
George Holland and Sandra Nicastro as the elderly Jewish parents Abe and Miriam are perfection in action. They have great chemistry together playing characters older than they are. George and Sandra's accents are impeccable and provoked much laughter as did the way they both walked. Sandra especially kept the audience in stitches with her load in the pants routine as well as her legs. I also loved the Seder scene where George rushes through the prayers to hurry up to eat. His throwing the matzoh-bread around the table is hilarious. Two wonderful character actors pull off their roles with ease.
Last but certainly not least is Jason Heywood as Bob Schroder, the fake beau who becomes the real beau. His double-takes, facial expressions and comic line delivery and timing are expertly handled by this master of comedy. Jason has very many funny lines, and one outstanding line is the explanation of salmonella. (His eating parsley, horseradish and the Matzoh bread at the wrong times left the audience in stitches too.)
Run do not walk to see this fantastic show!