Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Bedside Manners"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Bedside Manners"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Mill River Dinner Theater's current show is the British farce, "Bedside Manners". It takes place in a small unfashionable hotel where the temporary hotel manager, Ferris reluctantly agreed to look after the his sister's place during her holiday, He did not foresee the wild comings and goings that were about to burst upon on a single spring evening. Ferris becomes engulfed in lies, confusion and bewilderment as he tries to capitalize on preventing the inevitable meeting of husbands, wives and lovers in assorted compromising situations. The many twists and turns of the show will leave the audience laughing at the antics of these performers with their funny lines and split second timing.

Director Chuck PetitBon not only directs this high spirited show but at the last minute had to step into the leading role of Ferris, learning the massive amount of dialogue in a couple of days. He does a wonderful job as the money grubbing, lecherous hotel manager, delivering his many one liners full of sexual innuendos. Chuck is constantly running up and down stairs trying to stop the assorted lovers and spouses from meeting each other. He also designed the green and blue hotel rooms as well as cooked the splendid dinner for the show which includes a delicious chicken vegetable soup, various entrees including stuffed haddock with lemon dill sauce as well as white and sweet potatoes with Italian seasonings, stringbeans and carrots, Italian bread and a brownie with mint ice cream on it for dessert. An excellent way to start off the fun filled evening to come. Stage manager Cherry Cartier keeps things running smoothly while the lights and sound are by Doug Cameron and the colorful costumes are by Marcia Petit Bon and the cast.

His fellow performers are well cast in this show, too. Tom Lavallee is a hoot as Roger Smith. He tries be suave while entertaining his girl friend in the green room and constantly keeps tipping Ferris to help him out of the mess when his wife shows up unexpectedly. Tom handles the physical comedy in the show very well. The other Mr. Smith, Geoff, is well played by Ed Cooney. Geoff is very nervous because he has never had an affair before. He also crawls along a ledge, has his pants torn off leaving the audience in stitches. Paula Carson is the heavy drinking , Sally who downs four glasses of gin and tonic. After that she gets frisky with Roger, ripping his pants off. Paula has some funny moments with Chuck and Tom as they try to hide things from her, moving her from green room to blue room and back again. Staci Watkinson is Helen, the vampy blonde who wears sunglasses so she won't be recognized, leading her to bump into things and knock them over. She also constantly eats chocolates when she gets nervous about being found out. The interactions of all these performers is right on the money and will entertain you all evening long. So for a comic look at the mixed up antics in a British farce, be sure to catch "Bedside Manners" where you will not only enjoy the show but the delectable dinner, too.

"Bedside Manners" (15 July - 14 August)
499 High Street, CENTRAL FALLS RI
1(401) 721-0909

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide