Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Inspecting Carol"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2006 by Carl A. Rossi


by Daniel Sullivan
directed by Emil Kreymer

Wayne … Michael Aveller
Zorah … Rachel Baum
M. J. … Michael DiLoreto
Sydney … Julian Giantonio
Larry … Andrew Hicks
Lorraine … Lesley Moreau
Kevin … Louis Pasquale
Dorothy … Audrey Sylva
Betty … Elspeth Ryan
Phil … Daniel Schuettinger
Walter … Michael Yusah

Zero Point Productions, composed of graduates from local colleges, currently offers Daniel Sullivan’s INSPECTING CAROL at the Cambridge YMCA. Mr. Sullivan has written a farce about the bankrupt Soap Box Playhouse company mistaking Wayne, a third-rate actor, for a NEA inspector sent to decide if their “Christmas Carol” is grant-worthy (“The Inspector General” meets “Noises Off”); the plot may be mechanical but is spiced up with the bickerings, camaraderies and send-ups so dear to theatrical hearts; an Act Two line about the Dickens turkey is priceless --- and I’m not telling.

Otherwise, the Zero Point production is more frathouse hijinks than the nimbleness that Mr. Sullivan demands --- at times, the ensemble’s clunkiness runs parallel to that of the Soap Box troupe --- but there are also miracles, throughout: wooden actors suddenly being freed by the Dickensian dialogue or silent mugging proving far more inspired than declamation, and so on. Michael Aveller is properly “bad” as Wayne though I cannot decide if Mr. Aveller is really “good” or just a master of shtick, and Audrey Sylva steals a scene or two as the troupe’s mother hen, especially when she lays on the character accents. Andrew Hicks easily stands out as the Soap Box leading man, forever reinventing the Dickens tale --- his is the most polished performance, both hammy and subtle; Mr. Hicks’ program bio mentions that “He’ll be back. Oh yes --- he will be back.” Well, he’d better.

Seasons’ Greetings.

"Inspecting Carol" (21 - 30 December)
Cambridge Family YMCA, 820 Massachusetts Avenue, CAMBRIDGE, MA
1 (781) 738-5988

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide