Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Gloria & Johnny's 25th Anniversary"

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entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"Gloria & Johnny's 25th Anniversary"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Theatre Company's latest show is a murder mystery called "Gloria & Johnny's 25th Anniversary". Written by producer/director, Donna Adamonis, the action of this dinner theatre show takes place at the celebration of this couple's 25th. The 8 performers play their roles very well and keep you guessing whodunnit till the murderer is revealed by the close of the show.

The characters are introduced as they enter the party. They explain who they are and their relationships to Johnny & Gloria. Since it is a murder mystery, descriptions of who's who is the only thing to be revealed in this review. The unhappy couple is played by Ron Pelletier and Diane Tefft. Johnny is a womanizer and gambler and has been cheating on his wife for 27 years, even though they have only been married for 25. Ron plays the weasel very convincingly and makes the audience watch his every move around the womenfolk. Diane is hilarious as the Edith Bunker soundalike, Gloria. She is nonstop chatter and is constantly doing shtick to keep you in stiches. Diane is a definite scene stealer during the entire evening and one of her funniest lines is, "be careful the peppers will give you gas."

The couples 3 daughters, Elaina, Dina and Karina are played by Jillian Rotundo, Ashley Ledoux and Monica Johnson. Jillian plays the eldest, a snooty social climber who knows her father is a womanizer. She plays the bitchy role wonderfully. Ashley is the middle daughter who is married to a cheapskate, husband, Chickie played by Andrew Cox. Ashley also resents her father's philandering ways and she has a fabulous voice which she uses in "Unchained Melody". (Ashley just won a singing competition in Nashville and plays the leading role in an original musical, The Smart Set", this October.) Andrew plays her devoted husband and they both have a lot of chemistry together during the show. The youngest daughter is played by 10 year old Monica Johnson who delivers all her lines beautifully. (She filled in for her 12 year old sister, Marissa, who missed this performance to play in a band competition at Six Flags.) These four characters delivered their testimony i! n a believable manner to help the crowd figure out whodunnit.

Rounding out this cast are two nonmembers of the family. The first is the sultry, Jenee' who plays Johnny's slutty secretary, Tina. She vamps around the room and dances with many men to get Johnny's attention. She handles this sex kitten role with ease. The other character is Mr. Monte, the rude host of the event. He is played by Cliff Bessette who does a great job hurling insults at the other actors and the audience members, too. The dinner for this show consists of salad, macaroni, meatballs, sausage and peppers and roast chicken. A dessert buffet is given before you solve the mystery.

So for a fun evening of food, fun and laughter go to the murder mystery at Theatre Company, you won't be disappointed.

"Gloria & Johnny's 25th Anniversary" (till 25 May)
One Harris Street, COVENTRY, RI
1 (401) 827-0091

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide