Currently running at Act II Playhouse in Ambler, LET’S PRETEND WE’RE MARRIED, featuring Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs, is a thoroughly amusing ride down the lighter road of married life. The seventy minute cabaret is jam-packed with a varied selection of musical numbers (Broadway, popular music and some “original creations”), humorous sketches of famous TV couples (i.e. Archie and Edith Bunker), and a healthy dose of very entertaining audience participation.
LET’S PRETEND WE’RE MARRIED is perhaps the most solid cabaret I’ve seen. There’s good reason for this. Braithwaite and Childs first began performing the show ten years ago. Their impeccable comic timing is strengthened by their easy chemistry. The duo state at the outset that audience members often presume they’re married to each other in real life. But I wasn’t fooled. They get along far too well.
Braithwaite delivers his usual A-game, seamlessly transitioning between famous characters and delivering off-the-cuff one-liners at all the right times. No less marvelous is Childs, who also demonstrates a great talent for impersonations as well as an impressive voice. The key to the show’s success is the flawless pacing, particularly in the sketches and musical numbers (accompaniment by Owen Robbins). Never once did I feel the performers were simply “going through the motions” of a piece with which they’re obviously familiar. Instead, the duo create a genuine freshness as they work off the audience in many segments. And Act II’s cozy theatre is the perfect venue to do so.
The best part of the evening is a well-placed rendition of “The Newlywed Game” featuring audience “volunteers”. Both Braithwaite and Childs slide smoothly into the roles of game show hosts and showcase tight improvisational skills that keep the audience in a perpetual state of laughter as the hilarity unfolds.
While the majority of jokes are universal enough for anyone to enjoy, married couples will get the most for their money, especially those familiar with classic TV. To them, I cannot recommend this cabaret enough.
LET’S PRETEND WE’RE MARRIED
Starring Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs
January 11 – 22, 2012
Act II Playhouse
56 E. Butler Avenue
Ambler, PA 19002