Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: GRUMPY OLD MEN at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Review: GRUMPY OLD MEN at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

One of the Act 1 numbers in Grumpy Old Men the Musical is titled, "I Like The Way Things Are". The lyrics deal with a dislike for change and a strong appreciation for "the good old days". This message could also extend to the musical itself. The show is based on the very funny and very popular 1993 movie of the same name starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and Ann-Margret. It begs the question, why mess with success?

John and Max are long time neighbors and "frenemies" due to a decades old squabble involving a woman that both men loved. Max is played by Rob Summers who is a convincing and cantankerous sour puss. However, John is sorely miscast by Luther Chakurian who never comes across as either "grumpy" or "old". Neither his looks, voice ,or mannerisms remotely suggests a card carrying member of AARP. Therefore, many of the jokes about things like his deteriorating health don't really land.

Miranda Jane plays Ariel Traux, the redheaded vixen and new neighbor that gets both guys all hot and bothered. Jane looks amazing in many of her sleek outfits. She has a great way of slinking around the stage, and it is easy to see why she would be a better catch then anything the guys might get while ice fishing.

Another questionable casting decision was the overabundance of supporting male characters with very similar appearances. Bob Marcus, John Payonk, and Dale Given are all quite "Santa Claus-ish" in looks, and it was difficult at times to peg immediately which actor was on stage. While this is no criticism of their talent, it caused some unnecessary confusion more than once.

Madeline Canfield and Troy Bruchwalski play the adult children of John and Max. Both actors are effective in their parts and serve as an interesting diversion from the constant bickering of their dads. Local, Tricia Corcoran is very funny as the goofy bait-shop employee, Punky. Many of her lines were so random, it seemed as if they were improvised (in a good kind of way).

JP Meyer and the five-piece orchestra do a great job at creating a very full sound. However, the songs were serviceable, and there was nothing that stuck in my head after the final curtain fell.

Grumpy Old Men is not a bad show, but Dutch Apple has done a lot better. It has some interesting parts, but not enough for a full recommendation from this grumpy, middle-aged critic.

Tickets and more information can be found at Dutch Apple's website.



Review: LEADING LADIES at Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg Photo
This production of Leading Ladies is one of the funniest this reviewer has seen. The intimate theatre at Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg puts the audience right in the middle of the action. Anyone who needs a good laugh should get their tickets for Leading Ladies before it’s too late.

Review: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre Photo
All aboard for a night of Agatha Christie-inspired mystery and murder in Dutch Apple's current production of Murder on the Orient Express. This straight play written by Central Pennsylvania's own Ken Ludwig is fun and fast-paced.

AMERICAN IDOLs Alyssa Wray Performs in Lancaster Photo
Alyssa Wray (Murder Ballad, Queen+Journey) is back at Prima with a one-night-only solo concert on Sunday, February 5!  Experience Alyssa's powerhouse voice accompanied by New York City-based Music Director James Stryska on the baby grand piano in an intimate and exclusive evening, celebrating beloved songs that speak to her.

Gettysburg Community Theatre Presents LOVING Next Weekend Photo
Gettysburg Community Theatre, the non-profit 501c3 organization located within the first block of Lincoln Square at 49 York Street is now in it's 15th Season of volunteer, educational, and performance opportunities year-round for all ages and abilities with 12 local talent productions a year plus classes, improv shows, musical cabarets, and other special events.


From This Author - Rich Mehrenberg

Rich Mehrenberg was introduced to the magic of theater when he played "The Boy" in his first grade class production of "The Giving Tree". It has been a long term love affair eve... (read more about this author)


Review: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at Dutch Apple Dinner TheatreReview: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
January 28, 2023

All aboard for a night of Agatha Christie-inspired mystery and murder in Dutch Apple's current production of Murder on the Orient Express. This straight play written by Central Pennsylvania's own Ken Ludwig is fun and fast-paced.

Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Fulton TheatreReview: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Fulton Theatre
January 22, 2023

The Play That Goes Wrong is a Looney Tunes cartoon come to life.  Bring your whole family to enjoy its’ slapstick and silliness.

Review: MY FAIR LADY at Hershey TheaterReview: MY FAIR LADY at Hershey Theater
January 19, 2023

While this touring production of the show was not, by any means bad, it was nothing new.  Broadway revivals are currently pushing the envelope to explore the content in new and creative ways.  This production of My Fair Lady instead, rests comfortably on its laurels. 

Review: WHITE CHRISTMAS at Fulton TheatreReview: WHITE CHRISTMAS at Fulton Theatre
November 20, 2022

Fulton Theatre’s current production of the tepid White Christmas is an excellent example of the old adage “there are no small parts, only small actors”. Fulton Theatre?

Review: THE COLOR PURPLE at EPACReview: THE COLOR PURPLE at EPAC
October 15, 2022

Pleasant surprises are the best kind.