Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A...My Name Is Alice"

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entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"A...My Name Is Alice"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Mansfield Music and Arts Society's current show is "A...My Name is Alice". The show is a musical revue about five women doing what they do best...being women. From the horrors of parent/teacher conferences, the delights of a male strip club, to the tragedy of losing a parent, the show explores the many facets of women's lives through scenes, monologues and songs. The show was conceived by Joan Micklin Silver and Julianne Boyd and was originally produced by the Women's Project at the American Place Theatre in New York. This revue was created by a wide variety of comedy writers, lyricists and composers and offers a kaleidoscope of contemporary women. This show is sophisticated, bawdy, funny and insightful, the twenty numbers portray friends, rivals, sisters and even members of an all women's basketball team. Director Courtney Bottomley chooses five multitalented women to play these roles while musical director Shannon Manley teaches them the beautiful harmonic songs for the show while she plays the keyboards and conducts her all girl band wonderfully. They create a powerful and energetic production that will keep you laughing all night long and shed a few tears along the way as they tell their stories and open their hearts both in song and in their clever and witty phrases, too.

Courtney blocks the show with ease and Shannon teaches the glorious five part harmony in the group numbers perfectly. They mesh the show together beautifully, leaving you with an uplifting feeling at the close of the evening. The opening number called "All Girl Band" opens and closes the show powerfully with the 5 part singing by these dynamic women. The youngest member of the cast is Alicia Rivera who sparkles in this show with her solo numbers. She sings and taps up a storm in "Good Thing I Learned to Dance" and she does a gorgeous job with the lovely ballad called "I Sure Like Boys". Maria Mendes does a excellent job as the vamp of the show in the Hot Lunch skit with Alicia as a construction worker where Maria put the guy in his place and she is outstanding as "Honeypot" a blues singer lying on a chaise lounge in her shrink's office who sings about doing it with a man. She is a hoot in this song as she struts around trying to seduce the men in the audience. Meg Quin Dussault is very humorous in three poetry readings for women only and is hilarious in "The French Song" where the lyrics are random French words put to music including merde in la chapeau. (The translation for those who don't understand French is shit in my hat.) Marianna Scarpellini does a great job as the bitchy kindergarten teacher who berates a mother during a conference as well as handling the touching ballad called "Sisters" and the hysterically funny monologue called Demigod where she yells at her soon to be ex-boyfriend's jock strap in a washing machine at the laundromat. Rounding out the cast is Laura Rotondo Canfield who has a gorgeous soprano voice. She sings a poignant song about her mother's death in "The Portrait" and a duet with Marianna called "Friends". Laura also shows her comic side in the drinking song with the other women called "Bluer Than You" and in the raucous strip club song with Maria and Meg called "Pretty Young Men". The contemporary set designed by Courtney consists of a house, a garage, a modest garden and toy blocks strewn about the yard. The set construction was by Joe Solari, Glenn Fournier who also painted the set with Gary Poholek and Ken Butler who is the tech director and runs the lights for the show. So for a rousing musical treat be sure to catch "A...My Name is Alice" at MMAS before time runs out.

"A...My Name Is Alice" (24 March - 1 April)
30 Crocker Street, MANSFIELD MA
1 (508) 339-2822

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide