Reviewed by Tony Annicone
The latest show at The Granite Theatre is the 1962 comedy, "Never Too Late". It is the funny story of a middle-aged woman who is expecting a new baby and all the complications it brings to her husband, daughter and son-in-law. Veteran director, Gary Sullivan keeps things hopping with some clever shtick and his stage manager, Morgan Ban Droi keeps the action flowing from one scene to the next to satisfy their appreciative audiences.
The show is reminiscent of the "All in the Family", setting, with the hardboiled husband, the sweet loving, wife, the whining daughter and the seemingly not to bright, son-in-law. Dan Adams handles the role of husband, Harry Lambert, wonderfully especially when he transforms into a loving husband by show's end. The toilet, bathtub and drunk scenes are standouts for him. The loving wife and expectant mother, Edith is played by Candice Stein. She makes the transition from frumpy housewife to liberated mother to be perfectly and her realizing she can sign checks is very funny.. Candice especially shines when she feels faint and finally stands up to Harry via a phone call by telling him "To go to hell". Paul Lavallee makes the "meathead", Charlie, into a hoot with his drunk scene with Harry. He crawls through the window and falls to the floor in the most hilarious scene in the show. His solution of confessing their drunken behavior to the mayor saves the day and proves, Charlie has a brain in his head after all. The whining daughter, Kate, is played by Jena Ward. The scene where she realizes she needs to get pregnant, too so she won't have to do all the housework, is very funny and the attempted seduction comes across to the laughing crowd.
Edith's friend, Grace is a very early woman libber. She urges Edith to get a makeover, spend money to fix up the house for the baby and to stand up to Harry's bossy behavior. Mary Sue Chiaradio plays this role with the needed backbone and gusto and delivers her one liners to get the laughs they deserve. Other cast members include Greg Bliven as the loudmouth overbearing, Mayor Crane, Bruce Celico as Grace's doctor husband, Jim and Andrew Spatz as Mr. Foley and a policeman. Greg is hilarious as the pompous mayor who gets put in his place by a clever Charlie who outwits the bully at last. Bruce plays the serious doctor who diagnoses Edith's bundle of joy at the start of the show. Andrew making his debut in this show, steals his scenes as the house decorator who pads the bill and then as the stern cop in the drunken scene. Great start for his first time in the theatre. The beautiful two story set by artistic director, David Jepson, completes the picture for this fine show.
Once again the opening night festivities include the gourmet touches of caterer, Lorain Simister and her assistant, Kim Jones. This time the setting was a baby shower and included three different quiches, homemade pumpernickel bread, four spreads for the bread and assorted veggies, fruits and cheeses. Kim who runs Kimberly Jones Confections made mint chocolate candies into the shape of baby booties, rattles, diaper pins and rocking horses befitting the occasion. To sample these fine delicious foods call Lorain at Lor Concierge at 401-596-9685. Tell her Tony sent you. So go see this comedy this month at the Granite Theatre. I look forward to the rest of their second season.