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BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

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"Natalie Needs a Nightie" is a fun 1950's cheeky comedy with humor that still delivers laughs.

BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

"Natalie Needs a Nightie" is a fun 1950's cheeky comedy with humor that still delivers laughs. It's simple and reminiscent of the classic comedic sets ups by Burns and Allen, and I Love Lucy. In 1949, writers Caroline Schaffner and Neil E. Schaffner loaded this play with quirky characters and fast snappy transitions. Comical miss-direction spills out the script as a drawer overstuffed with lingerie.

Open in a hotel room in Chicago in the early 1950's. Tommy Briggs (Howard Green) a bachelor and salesman stressed trying to get in good with his conservative boss Juniper (Todd Ponder). Briggs's problem is that Juniper only promotes married men into executives (again, this is a period comedy). His mantra is "A man alone is only half a man." Briggs (Green) knows he's not moving up the ladder. To remedy this he concocts a hair-brained scheme for his friend Jimmy dress up as a woman, pretend to be his wife, then invite his boss over to prove he is an ideal all- American family man. Simple plan, right?

BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

The laughs ensue as the evening progresses and the plan falls apart. Briggs (Green) finagles others at the hotel to aid him in the charade. John (Josh Roberts) is the comical smarter than the average maintenance man. Jimmy (Sean Reese) is the long time best friend with experience walking in heels. Rose (Laura Towns) is the hilarious chambermaid who is quick act and have a drink.

BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

Another comic device is there are two Tommy Briggs staying at this hotel. Thomasa "Tommy" Briggs (Lori Mercer) is a dry and humorless high society writer who is a long time resident at the hotel. She uses Tommy as her pen name. She wants the other Tommy out of the hotel for the daily confusion is just too much.

BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

The arrival of innocent, bright eyed Natalie (Sunny Brown) is the spark to this firework of night. She arrives at the hotel unannounced to surprise her writer friend Ms. Tommy Briggs (Mercer) but ends up in Mr. Tommy Briggs (Green) apartment. Though a series of comical slips, the laughs build as she crosses paths with all the characters. The evening becomes a wash of funny madness that ring of "What's Up Doc" and "Bringing Up Baby".

Director Kyle Bass captures the timing of a "door comedy", a vaudeville pacing where as soon as one character exits the stage through one door, someone else comes in through another. The timing is crucial to making this work in repetition.

BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

The deliveries from Mercer and Brown have wonderful 1950's affects of Katherine Hepburn and Lucile Ball. Green delivers as manic straight man to the brash comedic foils of Towns, Reese and Roberts. Ponder chews up the scenes going from bombastic abrasive to childlike innocence.

You'll find the simple set is bright, kitschy, and with character. Complete with Beefeaters Gin, golf clubs, and in typical 50's sitcoms, doors to rooms you never see the inside of.

BWW Review: NATALIE NEEDS A NIGHTIE Fills Your Chest with Laughter at HOMEWOOD THEATRE

Kyle Bass delivers a tight ship in the pacing and transitions. It's an impressive dance of so many scenes so quickly executed. The audience stays engaged due to the timing in the comedy keeping up the pace.

"Natalie Needs a Nightie" skillfully laces misdirection and great comedic performances by a hilarious cast. It lifts you in all the right places. Hugs all the curves using smart sexual innuendos. It's so comfortable you leave wanting to buy another pair, of tickets.

Homewood Theatre

"Natalie Needs a Nightie"

Written by Caroline Schaffner and Neil E. Schaffner

Directed by Kyle Bass

CAST

Natalie - Sunny Brown

Tommy Briggs- Howard Green

Thomasa "Tommy" Briggs - Lori Mercer

Juniper J. Juniper - Todd Ponder

John - Josh Roberts

Jimmy - Sean Reese

Rose - Laura Towns

Homewood Theatre

At Brookwood Village Mall.

752 Brookwood Village, Homewood, AL 35209

(Between Macys and the Food Court)

Thurs - Fri - Sat | 7:30pm | (10/21-10/23) + (10/28 -10/30) |

Sunday Matinees | 2:30pm | (10/24 + 10/31)

For tickets - homewoodtheatre.com


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From This Author David Edward Perry