Sunday, March 16, 2008

45 Seconds From Broadway

Fine Arts audiences were treated to another wonderful weekend with their production of Neil Simon's 45 Seconds From Broadway.
A cafe in midtown-Manhattan's tourist-class Edison Hotel, a long-time watering hole for struggling actors, aspiring writers, standup comics, and suburban matinee ladies, was the backdrop for this hilarious Neil Simon comedy. Holding center stage was Bill McCarthy, playing the Jackie Mason-like comedian Mickey Fox.
He was surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters including the dining spot's lovable proprietor Bernie (Geno Pirrami) and his doting wife Zelda (Karen Quarnstrom),

the upscale society dame Rayleen (DJ Haska), in search of an intricately double-brewed cup of tea served in fine china on white linen, and her nearly nute husband Charles (Steve Shrader),

the British impressario Andrew Duncan (Tom Casey),
a hopeful Broadway ingenue Megan Woods (Myra Lamphier) following in her mother's footsteps,
and a South African playwright Solomon Mantutu (James Abud),

Mickey's brother Harry (John Diebel), operator of a Philadelphia bookstore, and a past-her-prime Broadway actress Bessie (Deldon Treece),

and two know-it-all suburban ladies Arlene (Bernadette Platt) and Cindy (Laurie Striebel).

Simon's typical one-liners flew fast and furiously throughout comic the first act; then the play took a more serious turn worthy of an Arthur Miller drama in Act II when Mickey's older brother pleads with him to help hid son become the comedian he desperately wants to be. Charles finally vents his frustrations.

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