Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Sorry Wrong Chimney"

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entire contents copyright 2009 by Tony Annicone

"Sorry Wrong Chimney"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at the Newport Playhouse is the funny farce, "Sorry Wrong Chimney". The show takes place in the NY apartment of a newly married couple David and Samantha Tuttle. It is ten days before Christmas and David has been secretly playing Santa to earn enough money to buy Sam a diamond necklace. Problems ensue with Sam's phone call to the office, finding out David isn't working there at night and the constant barging in of their neighbors Bill and his snooty wife, Natalie. Bill is a psychiatrist who loves to hypnotize people. Add a slightly off balance Santa burglar who thinks he is really Santa Claus and punishes people who have been behaving badly, his tough gun toting gun moll, Sheila and a stripping policeman into the mix to add to the merriment of this Christmas farce with a standing ovation as their reward at the close of the show.

Director Sandy Cerel and producer Matt Siravo cast each role very well. Sandy adds the physical comedy to the show. The fast paced timing and delivery is accomplished by her talented cast. Some of the physical actions include chasing after people around the sofa,striptease dancing, two people falling on top of each other on the couch and hiding in front of the sofa. All these farcical elements are handled adeptly under Sandy's guidance. Her stage manager Henryce Zannini keeps the show running smoothly all night long. Nishan Lawton and Andi Flax as David and Sam are wonderful as the newly married couple. He is at ease in many variety of roles whether this script calls for him to act normally or comically. Nishan's nervous behavior when being questioned by Natalie is a hoot. and he is especially funny chasing Sheila around the stage when he is under hypnosis, making the transition from one character to another beautifully. His confusion and befuddled looks at the situations around him are displayed perfectly. Andi who is a gorgeous statuesque blonde,is his sexy counterpart. She wears a short red pajama ensemble, little red boot slippers and a Santa hat. Andi's comic facial expressions and movements display the behavior of a loved starved wife of six months and her jealous behavior after misinterpreting an innocent conversation between David and Natalie is right on the money. Some of the crazy and wild moments she gives the audience include her long kissing scene with Nishan, being chased by Nishan and Santa, and lying on top of Bill on the sofa. Nishan and Andi are very talented performers and deliver many humorous moments in this show.

The crazy neighbors are played by Rick Bagley as Bill, the coke bottle glasses wearing analytical shrink who thinks Sam is in love with him and Sarah Dunn as Natalie, his nouveau rich snooty wife who knows David is secretly Santa but keeps the secret quiet, leading to fun filled chaos. Rick plays the absent minded Bill excellently. He forgets to take his key with him having left his apartment dressed in pajamas, slippers and a robe. Rick's costume change into David's mismatched suit, wearing different color socks and shoes on each foot to keep his wife from finding out he is in the Tuttle's apartment is one of the funniest moments in the show. He is a well seasoned actor and makes Bill, the perfect fool especially in his know-it-all hypnosis scenes where he uses a shiny tree ornament. Bill has the wrong guys in love with the wrong girls, thinking Santa is David and during the chase scene hypnotizes everyone into slowing down and falling asleep on the floor. It is a humorous and satiric commentary on the psychiatric profession. Sara's constant barging in on the newlyweds is very funny especially when she catches her husband and Sam having fallen on the sofa accidentally while he pretends to be David. And when David arrives home, it adds to more confusion. Sara handles the shrink's wife with ease and her best moment comes in the hypnotizing the cop into dancing around the room scene. Sara's reactions to the cop are wonderful.

Jonathan Keene is a hoot as the demented Kris Kreigle who thinks he is Santa. It is a must see comic turn. Kris steals everything in sight and delivers the dimwitted character's lines with great conviction. Jon's chasing and pursuing Andi in and out of doors, his blank look while being hypnotized, his trying to climb up the chimney when the cop knocks on the door and hopping around at the close of the show are standout moments for this topnotch character actor. The tough broad, Sheila played by Maureen Noel is another off center type who enters brandishing a gun. But beneath the tough exterior beats a heart of gold, Sheila returns all the loot Kris steals back to the police station. Maureen is comical as Sheila. Fred Davison as the hypnotized cop is a joy to watch. He enters as a serious law enforcer and leaves humiliated by people he was going to arrest. While under, he wakes up every time fingers are snapped. The ultimate moment is when he dances up a storm on the stage while wearing socks and red satin boxers while dancing. The wildness of the routine leads the audience into gales of laughter. Fred also built the festive holiday set. The all you can eat buffet before the show is excellently prepared by Sue Raposa with a scrumptious beef brisket in gravy as the holiday item and a wonderful after the show Cabaret. Matt Siravo has been pleasing audiences at the Playhouse for 27 years. So for a fun filled evening of Christmas cheer, be sure to see "Sorry Wrong Chimney", you will definitely laugh and enjoy this festive time of year with this holiday show.

"Sorry Wrong Chimney" (5 November - 31 December)
104 Connell Highway, NEWPORT RI
1 (401) 848-PLAY

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide