Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Bullring and The Odd Couple"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2001 by Larry Stark


"The Odd Couple"
&
"Bullring"

Produced by
le black Kat
&
The Delvena Theatre Company

A Delvena Daily Double!!!
Place your bets ladies and gentlemen --- you can't win if you don't bet. "Bullring" (le black Kat and Delevena stables) a fresh new comedy with author Michael O'Halloran on board in its maiden race is coming up fast on the outside. But this has become a two-horse duel as another Delvena entrant "The Odd Couple" with too many victories for this tip-sheet to count, ridden by another veteran at this track Collete Holmes, also pulls ahead of the pack. They've been neck and neck through the far turn. Let's see of "Bullring" has saved enough speed for a photo-finish as the old warhorse keeps challenging every step of the way. What'll it be, ladies and gentlemen, savvy and experience or fresh new blood? What a horserace!

"Bullring"

Written & Directed by Michael O'Halloran

Technical Director Amy Lee
Assistant Stage Manager Traci DiSalvatore
Stage Manager Hope Reiser

Voices............Tom Pruneau
Richie...............Mike Hoban
Zimmer.............John Conlon
Tee.............Christina Savage
Barbara...Barbara Bourgeois
Peggy.............Lynn Moulton
Voices..............Gwen Sweet

Michael O'Halloran's "Bullring" is a long one-act without a comprehensible ending as yet, but what's there already is brilliant comic writing soaked in Southie Bostonian vernacular : unfinished sentences, broad wink-wink euphemisms, brash personal insults, explosive battles between lifelong buddies, widows and widowers still maybe on the make --- the whole nine yards! And along with the beer and the beer-bellies, the picnic lunch that's the way to a guy's stomach at least as second-best, there's a gilt-edged textbook on the sweet science of betting on the ponies that not even "Guys & Dolls" can equal.

Y'see, that "Bullring" ain't in Spain. It's a racetrack so small they gotta run a lap and a half with tight, dangerous turns to get any distance, and often only has-beens and plugs --- nags, jockeys and bettors alike --- come out to try their luck --- at what passes for horseracing, betting, or romance all on the down-side of maybe. These are the illusionless addicts, betting their same "lucky" numbers while trying to wipe an accidental horse-turd out of the grooves in their tennis-shoes. The humor is broad and personal but as bumptiously bouncy and alive as a Southie day at Revere Beach.

The pair of racetrack regulars (Mike Hoban and John Conlon) would never admit their attention could stray from the racing-form to a couple of hearty, healthy gals they mighta known since high school; the ladies, however (Barbara Bourgeois and Lynn Moulton), have no qualms about admitting there ain't been much action in their lives lately --- and I don't mean Perfectas.

O'Halloran stages the tumultuous fervor of bettors booting home their choices for three or four genuinely exciting races whose outcomes always seem really in doubt, but manages to have separated couples stroll in and out of centerstage as deftly as a filmmaker lap-dissolving back and forth from one developing story to the other. And the college-kid of one of the widows (Christina Savage), trying to learn the ropes of track life ("I'm through playing my numbers; now all I want to do is make a lot a money!") while asking enough of the right questions to educate the audience turns out a laid-back wheeler-dealer in his own right.

"Bullring" is a winner! It may not yet be ready to take the Triple Crown, but a little attention from the proper trainer and, who knows?

"The Odd Couple"

by Neil Simon
Directed by Colette Holmes
Assistant Director Matthew Breton

Set Design by Alyssa Marino
Technical Director Amy Lee
Properties Design by Mary Moffet, Gia Bastien
Costume Design by Marlene Truitt

Speed.............................Andy Perillo
Murray..........................Steve Phillips
Murray (Nov. 9 & 11).....Bob Stachel
Roy...............................Brian Zudeck
Vinnie.......................Jeffry Marganian
Oscar Madison.............Gerard Slattery
Felix Unger........................Paul Huang
Gwendolyn Pigeon......Michelle Foster
Cecily Pigeon...........Sheryl Rabinovitz

Well, ya can't win 'em all. Someone's gotta finish last.

Love,
===Anon.


"Bullring" (27 October - 8 November)
DELVENA THEATER / LE BLACK KAT
Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 426-7700
"The Odd Couple" (26 October - 10 November)
DELVENA THEATER
Boston Center for the Arts, Black Box Theater, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 426-2787


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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