Newport Playhouse's current show is "Come Blow Your Horn", Neil Simon's first show on Broadway. It is a very funny comedy about a 33 year old playboy and his obedient 21 year old brother who work for their Jewish father, the owner of the largest artifical fruit business in the east. Throw in their daffy mother, the playboy's true lady love, a sexpot upstairs neighbor and the brother's aunt and you have the ingredients necessary for this hilarious character driven comedy.
Jason Heywood handles the huge role of Alan Baker, the suave, playboy with ease. Jason's line delivery, facial expressions and laugh lines are right on target. He also makes the transition from bon vivant to attentive worker believable due to finding his true love. The role of Alan changing into an adult is well written and it leads to much laughter in Jason's performance. (Jonathan Perry was supposed to be playing Alan but since he is an expectant father and the baby is due anytime, Jason filled the role beautifully for him.) Playing Alan's younger naive brother, Buddy is Vincent Miccuci. This role is based on Neil Simon, himself. Only appearing on stage once before, Vinny shows his mastery of how to play a role winningly by getting the most out of all his dialogue. His role of Buddy develops from the shy, introvert when we first meet him to a younger version of his older playboy brother in the last act. Vinny does an outstanding job in his second time on the stage and he and Jason convince you that could be siblings in real life. Wonderful job by two excellent young actors.
The roles of the parents are played by veteran performers, Matt Siravo and Sandra Nicastro. Matt not only plays Harry Baker but he also directs this show with a deft hand, milking the most laughs possible from the script and his cast. He plays the worry wart father wonderfully especially when he calls his sons, bums when they don't listen to him about life and on how to work for him at his business. Sandra as the constantly nauseous, daffy mother is a hoot. She has a funny Jewish accent and her scene while answering the phone 4 times is hilarious. (She can't find a pencil and gets the messages mixed up, getting Alan into hot water with his father.) Sandra's best moment is when she tries to remove her winter boots while sitting on a recliner. Her legs go up in the air and you see Paris, you see France, you see Mrs. Baker's underpants. (The audience was in hysterics over this bit of shtick.) Both Matt and Sandra do an excellent job as the older character actors and their bickering scene at the end of the show leads to many laughs, too.
Alan's true love, Connie is played Lisa Reimer. She convinces the audience of her true feelings for Alan by helping him to change from playboy to caring and responsible fiancee by show's end. Lisa is a strong actress and she takes this underwritten role and gives it the backbone it needs. ( First, Connie gives up her job to see if Alan will commit only to her, then she dresses as a floozy to tempt him and finally when she is a success in her job, Alan realizes his love for her.) The upstairs neighbor, Peggy is played by Alicia Marie Rivera who is a well endowed blonde. She dresses in skimpy clothes while playing this dimwitted wanna be movie actress. Alicia's Brooklyn accent is perfect and she makes the most of her scenes with Jason and Vinny while staying in her bimbo character at all times. (Peggy is so dense so can't remember people's names or if the ski lodge is in Vermont, New Hampshire or Connecticut.) The final person in the show is Eddie Rocha who makes a surprise entrance at show's end. All I can say is Eddie provides a lot of laughs in this role. I can't say anymore without giving away the surprise ending. Gene Dufault built the gorgeous NY bachelor pad set for the show.
So for a great evening of entertainment be sure to catch, "Come Blow Your Horn" at the Newport Playhouse. You will also enjoy the buffet which includes many different delicacies made by Sue Raposa, the chef. My favorites are the Italian veal and peas and the corned beef and cabbage. Tell them Tony sent you.