BWW Review: WHERE THERE'S A WILL at Theatre Three
The latest offering from Theatre Three, Where There's A Will, is indeed a special treat. Not only did Jeffrey Sanzel (Theatre Three's Artistic Director and a pillar of the Long Island theatre community) create the hilarious play, but he also assembled an all-star cast for the presentation. This zany production runs through May 6th at the Port Jefferson venue.
The tale centers on the late Hiram Cedrickson, a theatre buff portrayed by Jack Howell, leaving a substantial amount of money for a troupe of down-and-out show folk. The catch? The play that Mr. Cedrickson created - which no one had seen prior to the reading of his Will - must be presented "letter perfect" (script and directions) to an audience... in two weeks. If the company - to whom Hiram has dictated their assignments and roles - can't complete this task, then his prissy widow, who is already well involved with her next man-du-jour, will inherit everything. So, essentially, there is a play within this play.
They meet many obstacles throughout the whole process. The widow has interesting interpretations for the script, Hiram was not, shall we say, a great typist and didn't have an editor, and there is a clash of the divas among other things. With the requirement that it must be done exactly as written, you can imagine this made for some "wonderfug", sidesplitting moments.
Among the highlights in the outstanding cast is Mary Ellin Kurtz as Hazel and Phyllis March as Lavinia, our divas, Jessica Contino as Allison, the young thespian who Hiram has selected to direct his production, and Maryellen Molfetta as Monica, a yogi, who brings many laughs throughout the show. Ms. Molfetta and Steve McCoy are particularly hilarious in their scenes together. But truly, the entire ensemble cast is stellar.
On the creative team, Randall Parson's set is easily put together as the story takes place in The Hiram Cedrickson Theatre. Tables, chairs, props, and other theatre bits and pieces filled the stage. Also a highlight are the costumes designed by Chakira Doherty. Everyone was in their casual attire for the majority of the show. However, when they put on the costumes for the play Hiram created, they are certainly colorful and really build on the comedic staging.
As so, Jeffrey Sanzel's Where There's A Will is certainly another hit for Theatre Three. I have to say that I am very excited to see how this show develops. An outstanding cast and loads of laughter make this a wonderful night of theatre.
Where There's A Will is presented by Theatre Three of Port Jefferson, Long Island, through May 6th. For more information and to purchase tickets please call (631) 928-9202 or visit www.theatrethree.com
Created and Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, Scenic Design by Randall Parsons, Costume Design by CHAKIRA DOHERTY, Lighting Design by ROBERT W. HENDERSON, JR., Original Music & Lyrics by Tim Peierls, Assistant Direction by ANDREW MARKOWITZ, Stage Management by PETER CASDIA
Starring Steve Ayle, Marci Bing, Michael Butera, Carol Carota, Jessica Contino, Ginger Dalton, Susan Emory, Sari Feldman, Jack Howell, Joan Howell, Skylar Quinn Johnson, Mary Ellin Kurtz, Phyllis March, Linda May, Steve McCoy, Maryellen Molfetta, and Ruthie Pincus