Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Kung Fu Babies"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"Kung Fu Babies"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Day Dream Theatre presents an original farce called, "Kung Fu Babies" written and directed by Lenny Schwartz and sponsored by Theatre Company. The show is a clever take off on the world of comic book creators and their trials and tribulations. Lenny creates bigger than life characters who remind you of the Beavis and Butthead cartoon. He chooses 14 high energy performers who dazzle you with their talent, slapstick and shtick, producing a laugh riot with their crazy and outrageous antics.

Lenny is a talented young writer who keeps the show in constant motion without any down time in it at all. The performers move the furniture and props on and off, keeping the scenes flowing into the next. Lenny also appears in the second act of his show, making his Hitchcock-like appearance in his own show. (He pays off someone to fill in as the second narrator after the first one is kidnapped.) This is Lenny's ninth show and it is getting a dynamite presentation at Donna Adamonis' Theatre Company. (She supplies the audience with delicious desserts including cannolis and eclairs and opening night appetizers were by Alan's catering.)

The two leading men in this show are Geoffrey Monti as Gary and John Lincoln as Fred. They do a fantastic job as these two nerdlike characters who have their dreams come true as comic book writers only to be swindled by the evil head of the corporation. Monti and John are thrown around the stage constantly and should get stuntmen wages for all their pratfalls and tumbling about. Two talented RIC students with bright futures in theatre ahead of them.

The other 12 people deliver powerful performances, too. Ryan Davis is excellent as the Narrator of the show. He has an excellent speaking voice and helps to weave this very funny tale. Ryan appears once in the second act but it left the audience howling with laughter after he escapes the clutches of the evil kidnappers. Nicole Maynard makes her stage debut in the huge role of Susie, the S&M girlfriend of Fred. She is hilarious while flipping the men and beating them up. Nicole oozes sexual appeal and does a great job in her role. (She just stepped into with one night's notice and handled it with ease.) Gary's girlfriend, Betsy is played by high school senior, Gianna Giorgi who is very funny as the tough and later tender flower shop owner. Her funniest bit is when she beats up a ninja who tries to kill her by recognizing him as a friend from school. Another hysterical performance is given by Michael Locicero as the security guard who in reality is Chuck Sanders who wrote the comic, Platinum Man. He makes the scaredy cat guard humorous and his turn about in helping Gary and Fred defeat the bad guy with his ray gun is funny, too as is his falling in love with a person in a red dress. (Michael recently competed in the Irene Ryan talent competition and won first place in the Rhode Island College Talent show.)

Playing the villian of the show is Don Carrara as Mr. Ace. He owns the Wonderland comicbook company and he swindles the writers out of their money and creations. Don delivers a powerhouse punch as this cad and makes the audience hate his evil character. His bodyguard is played by high school senior, Thomas Bentley, who does some great pratfalls and some funny, shtick in his role. The head ninja called, The Nobody is played by a very sexy blonde, Erin Mercer who does wonderful tumbles and karate moves while wearing a slinky, black outfit. Brian Ottaviano does double duty as the spasmatic boy and a ninja. His outfit as the boy sitting on Santa's lap and on Gary's lap is a hoot while he wears a beanie with a propeller on it. Another debut performance is by George Dupre who does well in three roles including narrator 2. He gets to walk around in his underwear and drink liquor on stage. George has a great scene with the director while reading the wrong lines, a laundry list and later on in the show he throw Lenny's $5 on the stage.

Rounding out this cast are Juan Schwartz as Santa, Leanne Poisson as girl two, Michael Roderick as a weirdo fan and Tessalina Kinnunen as ninja two who shakes her boobs to try to defeat her opponents. So for an energetic, farcical evening of fun, make sure you catch Lenny's show at Theatre Company.

"Kung Fu Babies" (till 5 May)
Theatre Company, One Harris Street, COVENTRY, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 827-0091

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide