Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Bedside Manners"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2001 by Tony Annicone

"Bedside Manners"

Tony Annicone

City Nights latest show is the British farce, "Bedside Manners". It takes place in a small unfashionable hotel. The temporary hotel manager (Richard Wilber) has to keep running up and down the stairs to keep the two Mr. Smiths and their female companions out of trouble. The many twists and turns of the show in the green and blue hotel rooms will leave the audience laughing out loud.

Director Lee Rush, an accomplished actress, shows her directing prowess with the splendid timing and blocking of her performers. The pacing of the farce is right on the money. The running up and down the stairs and in and out of the doors is great. Lee's performers maintain their British accents perfectly retaining the flavor this farce deserves. The set consists of a garish lime green and royal blue second floor hotel rooms designed by David Jepson. This set and the downstairs lobby set helps create the mood necessary to pull off a farce. Excellent lighting by Kyle Peltier and an energetic stage manager, Heather Carey complete the ingredients of this show.

Richard Wilber as Ferris, the lecherous hotel manager is a hoot. His Cockney accent is excellent as are his leering and sexual innuendos. He has the funniest lines and he keeps things hopping by running all over the set constantly. Richard's interactions with the others is also wonderful.

Paul Oliver and Derek Lamonte play Roger and Geoff "Smith". They are both married men and are meeting their girlfriends in this place. Paul plays the suave man and Derek, the clumsy one. Both men do a excellent work trying to keep their wives from founding out what is happening. They have a lot of physical comedy to do and they both handle it well. The funniest scene is when Paul needs Derek's pants and he rips them off revealing boxers with little hearts on them. (Paul has British Flag boxers) A very hilarious bit. The paying of Ferris to keep lying for the men is another outstanding running joke in the show. Great job!

Kathy Meitner and Laura Ash-Sulger play the girlfriends of the Mr. Smiths, Sally and Helen. Kathy is a statuesque brunette with a great figure and she plays the vampy Sally perfectly. Her drunk scene is very funny after downing four glasses of gin and tonic. Laura is a cute blonde with a fantastic stage laugh. She wears sunglasses so she won't be recognized. This leads to knocking things down and tripping into various items, too. Laura also gobbles down nougats when she gets nervous leading to funny situations with the other characters. Both girls play these comic roles with a lot of charm and great timing. So for a show that will leave you in hysterics, go see "Bedside Manners" at City Nights.

"Bedside Manners" (till 8 April)
1(401) 723-6060

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide