note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Beverly Creasey
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
You only have to see one Bette Davis movie to know that the secret to success is ruthlessness. So when a show calls itself RUTHLESS you know all bets are off. Funny man Larry Coen directs the SpeakEasy Stageís production with maniacal abandon. Joal Paley and Marvin Lairdís devilish little musical gets a wild ride when tiny Tina Denmark plots to get the lead in her third grade play.
RUTHLESS joyously sends up THE BAD SEED, ALL ABOUT EVE and GYPSY by mixing all the classic melodramas together and adding cheeky songs like the theater criticís hilarious ďI Hate MusicalsĒ (And I know some who do!) and the mock Kurt Weill ballad.
Coenís entire cast is a treat, from Kristen Parkerís adorably psychopathic eight year old to Kathy St. George as her wacky Jekyl and Hyde mother, from Andrea Lyman as a self-serving teacher to Margaret Ann Brady as a vicious reviewer and Michelle Damigella in two hilarious roles. But the piece de resistance is Will McGarrahan, resplendent in high heels and silk stockings, as the Machiavellian theater agent provocateur. What fun Gail Astrid Buckley must have had finding matching frocks for Parker and McGarrahan!
Music director Jeanne Munroe sits placidly at the piano while all hell breaks loose, secure in the knowledge that the show canít go on without her. Make sure RUTHLESS doesnít go on without you!