Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Man Who Owned Broadway"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2000 by Tony Annicone

"The Man Who Owned Broadway"

Pawtucket Community Players last production of this season is a George M. Cohan Revue entitled "The Man Who Owned Broadway". It is an energetic vaudeville type of show with 12 talented performers singing, dancing and acting their way into the audience's hearts. Using Cohan's life as the backdrop of this show with 25 of his musical numbers interspersed throughout, you see what the vaudeville circuit must have been like. Director and writer Marcia Zammarelli keeps the action moving with number after number while Musical director keeps the tempos of the songs upbeat and has the cast do splendid harmonies in the group numbers and duets. The inventive and uplifting choreography of Michelle K. Gonya also keeps the entertainment level high. In the unairconditioned theater and while wearing heavy woolen costumes these 12 people tapped, marched and danced their hearts out to an appreciative standing ovation at the conclusion of the show.

Marcia use two people to play George M. Richard Blue a multitalented performer plays the older George who narrates the show, too. He is on stage almost the whole show. His delivery of lines and songs keeps the show ' s pacing perfect. Especially poignant are the "Josie" duet sung by both Georges and "Over There" written after his father's death. Richard's other duet is the comical "You Remind Me of My Mother" sung beautifully with George's second wife, Agnes(Sheri Ziccardi). Richard's reactions to the scenes around him are wonderful to watch, too. The other George is played by the dynamic bundle of energy, Don Ringuette. This kid can sing and dance at the same time. Don has a fantastic tenor voice and is able to sell these songs to the crowd. His singing and dancing with his parents and sister are great. The most rousing numbers in the show are "Yankee Doodle Boy", "Over There" and "You're a Grand Old Flag". Great job Richard and Don.

Even though the show is about George M. Cohan, the other 10 people contribute much to the success of this show. Steve Morris as the father and Pam Jackson as the mother, Jerry and Nellie help carry the first act with their comic bits, dances and songs. They compliment each other very well as husband and wife. Another human dynamo is Lisa Ziniti, a high school senior with a gorgeous voice. She also taps and moves around the stage like a whirling dervish. Both her solos "Billie" and "Oh You Wonderful Boy" are standout numbers. A very talented young girl. Wonderful job Cohan family.

Melanie Souza as Cohan's first wife,Ethel Levy is a joy to watch on stage.She is a very talented singer and actress. Melanie makes the most of her stage time in the Married duet and the Friends number as well as the group numbers,too. Sheri Ziccardi also shines as Agnes the second wife in the Mother song and in her group scenes and songs,too. Two very talented wives.

Two scene stealers are Fred Kuhr as Victor Moore and Christine Perron as Fay Templeton. His hot wool striped suit is hilarious and they sell their duet "Mary" to the audience as the man about town and the maid he's trying to pick up. They also sing and dance the lead in "45 Minutes to Broadway" with the company. Fred played two other roles in the show. His voice is very strong and clear in both his lines and vocals. Good to see two talented newcomers in a Pawtucket show but they aren't newcomers to theater itself.

Rounding out this talented cast are Luis Rodriguez as Sam Harris, Cohan's partner and the tapdancing girls who also sang in the group numbers Denice Handren and Tara Beaulieu. Marcia's eye for detail as writer/director is also put to use in the many beautiful Victorian gowns and men's outfits in the show. She puts 100% into everything she does and this show is a reflection of her talent. Marcia, Michael and Michelle deserve the ovations at the end of the show for a job well done

"The Man Who Owned Broadway" (till 25 June)
Jenks Jr. High School Division St reet, PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND
1(401) 726-6860

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide