Commedia tonight

By STEVE VINEBERG  |  April 21, 2009

The cast are game and energetic. They all have their moments (I loved Wooddell's blissed-out response to a kiss), but Latessa and DeVito are especially good. You can see and hear DeVito's famous dad in every one of her scenes; her deadpan boisterousness must make him proud. Latessa, the veteran performer best known as Harvey Fierstein's husband in the Broadway musical Hairspray, has a Borscht Belt spirit and the kind of timing a young comic would kill for. Commedia thrives on cultural stereotyping — the actors would land in a new town, spend the day soaking up local references and gossip, and flatter their audience by sending up the other places they'd passed through. Latessa handles this kind of broad putdown humor masterfully; it's commedia by way of the burlesque house. DuBois's skillful staging takes advantage of all the corners supplied by Alexander Dodge's nifty, forced-perspective set, and Rui Rita's lighting design achieves moments of real beauty. The show isn't perfect, but it's rarely less than pleasurable.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Sox trump comedy, Autumn garden, Play by Play: May 1, 2009, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Culture and Lifestyle, Performing Arts,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BAFFLED IN BOISE  |  October 09, 2012
    Samuel D. Hunter's A Bright New Boise, receiving its Boston premiere in a production by the Zeitgeist Stage Company, has no dramatic structure.
  •   SAD BOY  |  October 02, 2012
    The Irish playwright Brendan Behan, known for his plays The Hostage and The Quare Fellow and for his memoir Borstal Boy, was a raucous, charismatic, hard-drinking Irish Republican who began to write after he got out of prison for shooting at English detectives during a public event.
  •   GOOD PEOPLE COULD BE BETTER  |  September 24, 2012
    Good People , which opens the SEASON at the Huntington Theatre Company, is a schizoid experience.
  •   CAR TALK IS NO MUSICAL  |  June 26, 2012
    The notion of a musical inspired by Car Talk is bizarre.
  •   COWARD'S 'PRIVATE LIVES' ROARS AGAIN  |  June 05, 2012
    It wouldn't be a stretch to call Noël Coward's 1930 Private Lives the funniest play of the 20th century.

 See all articles by: STEVE VINEBERG