What a pleasant way to spend an afternoon — a good meal and a laugh filled new play called SURPRISE! This is the fifth dinner theater Methacton Community Theater has presented with a new script by a local author.
Arthur Fischman has written a laugh a minute script with a very thin premise in the first act. Our hero, Marty, has given his wife a surprise party for a “big” birthday. Brindisi, the wife in question, can’t believe that he was able to keep the secret, and is suspicious that Marty is therefore capable of keeping secret an inter-office love affair. The second act was a more satisfactory plotted affair which still made room for the many one-liners. I won’t spoil the fun. You’ll have to see it to know. Fischman knows how to write humor, although I would have preferred a little less bathroom jokes.
The cast had a marvelous time – as did the audience. Geoff Randall as Marty, the weary businessman and accused husband, wrings every bit of humor out of his lines. He knows just how to put them across. As Brindisi, Phyllis Blair has a wry delivery style that suits her character perfectly.
Bob Patey plays Herbert in one of the most god-awful costumes I’ve ever seen, but one exactly right for the part. He plays “no clue” in a fine way. Eileen Brady as Florinda, a business associate of Marty’s, has one of the best accents I’ve heard in quite a while. She certainly knows her way on the stage. I got a real kick out of Diane Seader as Rosemary, Marty’s Dumb Dora of a secretary. Seader is a marvel of reactions which makes her performance spot on.
The younger generation is represented by Tab Baker as Jimmy, an almost thirty flower child. His girlfriend, Scarlet Tanager (how’s that for a name!) was ably played by Jaime Ciabattoni. She had her accent down very well and was good in the part.
Director Jay Farrelly did his usual fine job of making the cast play comfortably in the round. Farrelly has directed all five of the MCT dinner theaters. The caterers at Center Square Golf Club provided a very good dinner.
All in all a very satisfactory way to spend some theater time. Come on over — it’ll tickle your funny bone and fill your stomach at the same time.
by Arthur Fischman
Directed by Jay Farrelly
March 8 to March 17 2013
Methacton Community Theater
Center Square Golf Club
2620 Skippack Pike
Norristown, Pa 19403