Reviewed by Tony Annicone
Theatre Company's current production, "Breaking Legs" is a comedy where the worlds of the Mafia and theatre clash hilariously when a professor/playwright seeks funding for his new play from the family of a former student. The "family" turns out to be three Mafia godfathers and the lusty, unwed daughter, the former student, is hot after the professor. When the playwright learns about the "accidental" killing of a thug associate, his bubble is burst when he finds out his backers are gangsters. This madcap comedy is wonderfully performed with insightful direction by Donna Adamonis, making it a must see evening of entertainment.
Leading actor, Richard Manoogian plays Mike, the Italian enforcer perfectly. His stage presence is very natural and you believe his convincing, energetic portrayal of this gangster. Richard's fluid delivery of lines and expert facial expressions are hysterical to watch. He commands the stage with ease and one of his funniest lines is when he mixes up the word urology with eulogy. Richard is an extremely talented actor who shines in this role. Bravo on a job very well done.
Ron Pelletier plays the Italian restaurant owner, Lou who wants to invest in the show because of all the spotlights, Connie Chung and bimbos on his arm. He is very convincing as the impatient father who wants to get his only daughter married but is very picky about all her beaus. Ron is a well seasoned performer who knows how to work the crowd and gets many laughs while doing it. The other Mafia thug, Tino is played by Andrew Cox. He does a splendid job in only his second time on stage. Andrew is powerful as the intimidating gangster who leans on those in disfavor. His best scene is when he yells at his victim first, then beats him up with his fists and then with a large, hammer. Andrew plays his role so well, you think he's been acting for years.
The two lovers in this show are played by Jennifer Kimmerle and Ben Aleman. Jennifer plays the strong willed, Angie with a lot of verve. She makes the three Mafia dons bend to her bidding throughout and especially at the show's closing. Her seduction scene of Terrence is hilarious when she rubs her feet on his chest, moaning in orgasmic delight while he watches Tino's beating of the thug in the back alley. Ben's comic scenes take place in the second act during his drunk scene with Jennifer and later when she convinces him, he is truly in love with Angie. He tries to bargain with the hoods but it is Angie's strength that saves the day. These two young performers do well in their demanding roles. Rounding out the cast as the nervous thug, Frankie Salvucci is Joseph Carlone. His shaking and quaking at being questioned by his three superiors is a laugh out loud scene and he makes the most of his time on stage. This madcap show also has a beautiful restaurant set with red tile floors and red and white tablecloths. Stage managers, Jessica Rooney and Joan Pointon keep things moving smoothly and keep the stage food flowing. Donna not only produces and directs the shows, she cooks almost all of the dessert buffet at intermission. So for a great night out, go see "Breaking Legs", you won't be disappointed.