Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Out of Order"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2003 by Tony Annicone

"Out of Order"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

It is an evening in spring about 9pm in Suite 648 of the Westminster Hotel in London during the Administration of Margaret Thatcher. Her junior minister, Richard Willey who is supposed to be at the debate with Mrs. Thatcher, plans to spend the evening with Jane Worthington, one of the opposition's typists but everything seems to go wrong in "Out of Order" the latest show at the Granite Theatre. Throw in Willey's not too bright assistant, an intrusive hotel manager, a money grubbing waiter, the couple's two spouses, a mysterious body stuck in a constantly falling window, a voluptious nurse and a maid who only speaks Italian and you have the makings for the hilarious British farce to keep you laughing on a very hot and humid evening in an airconditioned theatre.

Director Gary Sullivan gives his cast not only wonderful blocking in this madcap romp but he also gives them each a change to shine in their humorous roles with a variety of shtick to keep the laughter coming. Stage manager Morgan Ban Draoi keeps the actors on their toes with the constant running in and out of the doors and window. David Jepson's set conveys the plush atmosphere a British hotel with its decor of elegant furniture and velvet curtains while Tai Scavetti runs the lights and sound for the show. (Although it wasn't opening night caterer Irene Bessette made some treats for the Animal Rescue League which they raved about. It was a very warm,humid night so I didn't eat anything before the show but I sampled her luscious banana bread afterwards and I definitely want her recipe for it.)

The manic Keith Brayne plays the philandeering, Dick Willey. (Ray Cooney always makes jokes about the male and female anatomy in his shows and this one is no exception.) His lines are numerous but he keeps them coming rapid fire. The lies keep mounting as the night wears on but Tricky Dicky keeps the wool pulled over everyone's eyes all night long. His assistant, George Pigden is portrayed by Brian Olsen in an over the top performance which this role calls for. Brian never stops running in and out of the room especially in the second act which leaves the audience exhausted by his many crazy antics of the night, doing a fantastic job from start to finish. The third member of this trio is Soshana Dos who plays Janet who keeps trying to avoid her jealous hasband who is out to catch whoever she is fooling around with. She does a wonderful job as the sexy but frightened ingenue who is frantic with worry. The biggest scene stealer of the show is Angelo Ritacco as Jane's out of control husband, Ronnie. His entrance is gangbusters with a constant pounding on the door and bounding into the room searching for his missing wife. He threatens and bullies everyone he meets, leading to much hilarity. Angelo is hysterical when he cries and throws himself on the furniture in the room and when he is only clad in a towel in the second act, leaving the audience wondering if it will fall off at any moment. (A very funny performance.)

The other actors play their roles well, too. Don Adams plays the pesky hotel manager who always seems to appear at the worst moments possible while Harold Ashton handles the role of the constantly appearing waiter, Cromwell who helps Dicky out of his sticky situation but it comes with a steep price. Michelle Messina does a great job as the very British wife of Dicky who lets her hair down with someone other than her hubby. Erica Nicholson is the sexy nurse who is hit on by George who kisses her and rubs her bottom up and down while doing it, invoking much laughter. Rounding out the cast is Bruce Celico who plays a body in this show which keeps disappearing to keep you guessing to who he really is and what really happened to him and Mary Sue Chiaradio, wearing a grayhaired wig, who plays Maria, who always enters the room to make up the bed, speaks only Italian and exits the scene, getting the laughs she deserves. So for a fun filled evening in Westerly, be sure to catch "Out Of Order". You won't be disappointed.

"Out of Order" ( 20 June - 27 July)
GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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