BWW Review: RIPCORD Parachutes Straight To The Funny Bone
It's a slow but calculated drop from the heights of animosity to the planes of goodwill that David Lindsay-Abaire (Good People, Rabbit Hole, Shrek the Musical) has engineered in his light-hearted comedy, RIPCORD. When two diametrically different personalities, Abby and Marilyn, vie for premium space in the suite of a senior living facility, they unleash a battle royale of wits and ruses to gain the upper hand and the precious bed by the window.
Judy Rollings and Patti Suarez, both of whom carry an impressive acting portfolio and are revered in Arizona for their stagecraft, are delightful as the antagonists in Theatre Artists Studio's rendition of the play, directed by David Weiss.
Suarez's Abby is crusty and curmudgeonly, protective of her space and privacy, and downright nasty to any perceived intruder. What better foil to poke at her armor than Rollings's Marilyn, an uninhibited and free spirit with a competitive streak. Both actresses play their roles to the hilt as they game each other in a contest of wills that leads them to a haunted house and skydiving ~ and to engaging center staff (Nathan Spector) and family (Tom Koelbel, Julie Lee, and director Weiss) as accomplices in their ploys.
There is comedy enough to satisfy the audience, but Rollings and Suarez can shift gears seamlessly into portrayals of two women whose secrets and needs are exposed as the parachutes of their lives open and float above the stage. As contrary as they may be, they are sisters under the skin, and the two actress unfurl their emotional range for all to see and enjoy. Opposites can attract!
RIPCORD runs through April 24th.
Photo credit to Mark Gluckman Photography