Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Run for Your Wife"

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entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Run for Your Wife"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at the Newport playhouse is "Run For Your Wife", a British farce by Ray Cooney. The show takes place in two homes in different parts of London. Cab driver, John Smith is a bigamist who has been injured and is taken home to his wife, Mary in Wimbledon by Detective Sgt. Troughton while his second wife, Barbara waits for him in his second home in Streatham. Add two upstairs neighbors from his different homes, Stanley and Bobby, another policeman, Detective Sgt. Porterhouse and a pushy newspaper photographer and you have the ingredients for the crazy mistaken identity, name calling and innuendoes that follow in this rib tickling show directed by Matt Siravo. The gorgeous two apartment unit set adds the finishing touch to this production.

Director Siravo keeps the action moving constantly from start to finish, keeping his cast on their toes. Not only is the set designed by Jay Cotter and decorated by Jason Heywood, colorful but the costumes of the cast are too which is perfect for this madcap romp of a show. Nishan Lawton is a whirling dervish in this very demanding role of John Smith. He is in constant motion, running on and off the stage continuously thinking up new lies to meet each situation he comes across due to his life as a bigamist. His many comic moments include eating a newspaper with his photo in it, jumping into Stanley's arms after being startled and spitting out tea after hearing some shocking information. This young man delivers the goods in this enormous role and his overall performance leads to much laughter and well deserved applause.

The two wives are wonderfully played by Alicia Marie Rivera and Colette Schwoeri. Alicia is a beautiful brunette who plays the befuddled Mary. She is constantly fed new lies by everyone trying to cover things up until she pops some pills and starts swearing and calling people names. Her funniest scene is when she grabs Colette's boobs thinking she is a transvestite called Lofty. Colette, a gorgeous blonde, plays Barbara, a Suzanne Somers look alike who is dressed in a low cut rose colored negligee. John tells her Mary is a nun, Stanley is a farmer and all she wants to do is have sex with her husband in their bedroom. Colette has some funny scenes with her tres gay upstairs neighbor, Bobby. Mike Johnson plays Stanley who tries to help John out of this mess by fabricating some tall tales himself. He tells the cops that he is John Smith and that Stanley is his son, this complicates matters leading John into telling Troughton that he and Stanley are gay lovers so he won't find out he is really married to two women. Michael has some of the best one liners in the show and he makes each of them count. He also has wonderful facial expressions that bring about much laughter. The biggest scene stealer in this show is Alan Kerr as Bobby. His portrayal of the gay neighbor is hysterical from his first entrance on the stage. He flits in and out of each scene prancing about and displaying flaming movements at all times. Alan returns to the Newport stage in a blockbuster role, leaving the audience in stitches.

The two detectives are played by Terry Horsley and John Moreau. Terry's inquisitive Sgt. Troughton finds out that John Smith is the same person and wonders why he lied. He gets more than he bargained for with John Smith's deception as a supposedly gay man while John's Sgt. Porterhouse is more gullible and he tells them that his pet name for his wife is "Gruesome" while she calls him "Pussy" because during sex he purrs like a cat. Both men are quite funny in their roles. Rounding out the cast is George Roach as the pushy newspaper reporter who demands to take a photo of John and Mary, leading John into a chaotic time of trying to cover his tracks. The fun filled evening starts off with a sumptuous all you can eat buffet by Sue Raposa with luscious meatballs and meatloaf among the many selections and closes with the hour long cabaret to finish things off. So be sure to catch this nonstop British farce at the Newport Playhouse.

"Run for Your Wife" (20 - 29 May)
104 Connell Highway, NEWPORT RI
1 (401) 848-PLAY (7529)

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide