Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Fuddy Meers"

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note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey

Hov's Ver
Fuddy Come'ey

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

There's a lot of "psychogenic amnesia" going around lately (One of the nuns at Turtle Lane has it), but what do you get when you mix it with kidnapping, and a potty-mouthed puppet? You get David Lindsay-Abaire's hilarious "Fuddy Meers" --- which means "funny mirrors" if you've had a stroke. If memory serves, this play created a stir when it first opened for making fun of people with strokes, limps, lisps, etc. Pish Tush! It's all in the service of madness, and the Hovey Players' version serves up some sensational performances. (If they just speed up the scene-changes, momentum will add immeasurably to the mayhem --- but that's my only reservation.)

Stealng every scene he's in is a puppet named Hinky Binky who resides on the left arm of comic genius Bob Williams. (When Williams stuffs a towell in Binky's mouth you'll wish you had one to wipe away your tears of laughter.) Michael Tonner's cast is gang-busters, with Lynn Armstrong leading the madcap troupe in true lemming fashion. Eric Houghton is so adorably optimistic as the ex-con brother/husband (Is this show related to "Chinatown"?) that it's a downright shame he gets to say "cuthtard" only once...

Ann Carpenter adds a Teutonic gloss to the wacky stroked-out mother and Christine Connor adds plenty of grit as the police-woman/moll. Jonathan Kiviat is plenty scary as the husband/father to a sly Josh Isaacs --- the teenager from hell. John MacKenzie's sets are cheekily cheery, and Tonner's soundtrack is inspired, with more references than you can absorb in one visit.

With "Fuddy Meers Hovey again proves it's one of the best small companies around.

"Fuddy Meers" (20 September - 5 October)
Abbott Memorial Theatre, 9 Spring Street, WALTHAM MA
1(781) 893-9171

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide