Telegram & Gazette

 

ENJOYABLE CLIP

Furthermore, the sheer spirit of the cast and the fact that they are clearly and happily familiar with each other helped carry the play along at an enjoyable clip.

The Maxwell household consists of a family of eccentrics bound together by the memory of Grandfather Maxwell, a successful playwright who has raised the brood on a generous diet of self-expression.

This has led to some interesting results. One granddaughter, for example, thinks she’s Scarlet O’Hara, while two siblings are always becoming the characters in the numerous plays they are working on. Thus one morning they may show up at the breakfast table as the king and queen of a costumed history frolic, For lunch they may be southern hillbillies. Meanwhile, grandmother likes to talk to the cremated remains of her husband that are stored in (WHAT ELSE). A COFFEE CAN OF Maxwell House.

It is little wonder then that Carol another granddaughter, is a trifle nervous about introducing her boyfriend to the clan. And the fateful evening will be compounded rather than alleviated by a brand new set of circumstances which inevitable cause confusion and cases of mistaken identity.

FLAIR FOR FARCE

The play is at its best when it goes all out in exploring the madcap and farcical potential of the scenario that has been set up. The writers demonstrate a pleasing flair for farce, while as director, Michael Celularo has a good eye for blocking and pacing all the action on the wide auditorium stage.

That said, the mayhem that makes so much of the second half amusing could have gone on longer with yet more twists and permutations. Instead, it ends a tad too abruptly in favor of a resolution and a sort of coda which while acceptable enough, is on the flat side and just a little confusing. Perhaps some script revision might not be out of the question here. 

Elsewhere, however, things were nicely on target with frequent clever touches from both the writers and the cast.

All the performers had good moments, with Lisa Mielnicki (grandmother), Robin Shropshire (mother), Maryellen Celularo (Carol), and Nancy Gallagher and Linda Johnson (Carol’s sisters) standing out in particular.

They made the evening a lot of fun, and part-time or full-time, you can’t pay a much better compliment to a group performing comedy than that.