Theatre Mirror Reviews - "NANA'S NAUGHTY KNICKERS"

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Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Christmas show at the Newport Playhouse is "Nana's Naughty Knickers", a farce by Kathy DiSavino. Bridget and her grandmother are about to become roommates. However, what Bridget saw as an unique opportunity to stay with her favorite Nana in New York for the summer quickly turns into an experience she will never forget. It seems her sweet grandmother is running an illegal boutique from her apartment, selling hand-made naughty knickers to every citizen in the five borough area. Will Bridget be able to handle all the excitement? Will her Nana get arrested, or worse, evicted? Director Daniel Lee White infuses his cast with high energy although at times the shouting get to be a bit much and over the top. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. When the lines were well modulated, the audience laughed merrily at the wacky antics of the characters.

The hot purple set by Tonya Killavey is phenomenal and perfect for this bawdy farce. The mechanism that she created to move the secret panels in the closets and fireplace are fantastic. Mchael Gregory as Nana, Sylvia is feisty and funny. A bit too loud at times but Michael captures the madcap antics of this woman who runs Saucy Slips. Nana likes to make sure everyone's face is clean by smudging their cheek with her fingers and she takes her friend, Vera on these death marches. Their modeling of the naughty outfits is a hoot and is one of the funniest scenes in the show. Olivia Sahlin plays the manic granddaughter, Bridget. Her reactions to Nana's business dealings are funny. A little less yelling at times when she discovers Nana's secret business dealings would help the audience understand things better. The costume that is very skimpy on her is hysterical and her romantic moves with Tom, the cop are wonderful, too. Her pratfall when she is crushed by the closet is hilarious. The biggest scene stealer in this farce is Sandi Nicastro as the hard of hearing best friend, Vera. She has malfunctioning hearing aids which leads to many misunderstandings and comical situations that have to be seen to be believed. Sandi steals many a scene and all her one liners hit pay dirt all night long. One of her funny lines is when she misunderstands Sylvia saying she is making lingerie for a living into making lasagna for Thanksgiving. Some of her funniest moments include saying Sylvia has bras on the brain, is constipated, when she nicks Schmit's BMW with a car, when she grabs Tom's ass and when she and Michael sing "One" as they model lingerie.

Katherine Coolidge plays Heather Van Pree who works for Saucy Lips. She has a very funny scene where she is looking for her boxes of unmentionables that got delivered to Nana instead and then mistakes the mean Mr. Schmit as one of Nana's customers. Jeff Blanchette plays Tom, the handsome and debonair cop who has a crush on Bridget. He helps move her stuff into her grandmother's apartment and tries to warn her that her car is double parked on the street and threatens her with a ticket. Mr. Schmit drags him upstairs after the dent in his BMW due to Vera's negligence. His reactions to the craziness around him is wonderful to behold. Tom eventually sweeps Bridget off her feet. Jim Killavey plays the mean and gruff landlord, Mr. Schmit marvelously. He wants to take away Nana's rent controlled apartment from her. Jim reminds you of a mean Wilfred Grimley. This mean man eventually receives his comeuppance. Jim's real life wife, Cindy Killavey plays the woman of mystery, Claire. She enables a solution to the wild and wacky machinations that have been happening in Nana's apartment. George Selwyn plays the UPS man who ogles the Bridget in her scanties when he delivers his boxes and asks for a date. The show has many comic twists and turns to it. So for a funny new farce, be sure to catch "Nana's Naughty Knickers" at Newport Playhouse. You will eat a delicious all you can eat buffet before the show and a fun filled Christmas cabaret afterwards. This show closes out their 33rd season and "Romantic Comedy" opens their next season in February.

NANA'S NAUGHTY KNICKERS (25 November to 31 December)
Newport Playhouse, 102 Connell Highway, Newport, RI
1(401)848-7529 or

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