Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Star Spangled Girl"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"Star Spangled Girl"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The first show of City Nights Dinner Theatre's 19th season is Neil Simon's "Star Spangled Girl". Written in the mid 1960's, this comedy shows 2 young men writing a newspaper about the wrong's of LBJ's society and their beautiful, blonde neighbor from the south who is a true blue patriot. Director Doug Macaskill keeps the pacing rapid fire throughout and chooses three strong performers to carry it off to a successful conclusion. He also constructed a huge two story set which keeps the actors climbing up and down, giving the show the frenetic, energy it needs.

Elena Sloop sparkles in the title role of Sophie. She masters a wonderful southern accent and delivers her comic lines deftly. Elena handles her romantic moments with true finesse and she is a joy to watch. The craziest character is the lovesick, Norman who spies on Sophie through a telescope and paints a love letter to her on the stairway. Richard Bento excells at comic moments and timing. He plays Norman beautifully with the intensity the role calls for. Richard's facial expressions are a hoot, too. The third member of the cast is artistic director, Scott Morency who plays Andy, the editor of the paper. He has some humorous phone conversations and the scene where he irons his jacket by putting it under the sofa cushions and rubbing a barbell over the cushions is hilarious. Scott also shines in a scene where he is sunburned from head to toe and he has great chemistry with Elena in the love scene and with Richard in the fighting scene.

The evening starts out with a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Condron. His specialty for this show is breast of chicken "Picasso" which is a boneless chicken breast sauteed with chicken stock, tomato, garlic and fresh basil served on a bed of pasta. The dinner also includes vegetables, a garden salad with chef's dressing, fresh rolls, coffee or tea, and assorted pastries for dessert. (My dinner companions for this evening included a couple from Pawtucket, Mike and Jeanine, and two other couples,V. and his wife Paula and their son, Brian and his girl friend, Annette from Westerly. Fellow reviewer, Don Gillis from Little Rhody Theater joined us after dinner. They were very friendly people and I found out V. does a radio sports show as well as teach at the same high school with his son, Brian.)

So for a fun filled evening of a wonderful food with a Neil Simon comedy to go with it, be sure to catch this show at City Nights before time runs out.

"Star Spangled Girl" (10 - 25 January)
27 Exchange St. PAWTUCKET, RI
1(401) 723-6060

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide