A good farce is hard to find, with more theaters preferring to do dark and brooding rather than fun and carefree stories. Newtown Arts Company’s newest show is a delightfully fun over the top farce. MAID TO ORDER starts with a slow build, but 15 minutes in the laughs start cascading and last for the rest of the show as the situation spirals into a hilarious madness. Its great to see such a funny family friendly show on stage.
The set was beautifully made with a lovely view outside the window and looked like an actual living room. The cast really put on a strong show overall, with only a few minor weaknesses. When the biggest complaints you can have about a show are how someone put something in a closet, or when an actress laughs at something onstage when she’s supposed to be serious it really shows you how great of a show it was.
C.T. Troilo (Carl) was perfect as the college coach. He has good timing and actually managed to be both intimidating and funny at the same time. Laurel Collins was obviously having a great time playing Faith, and managed to perfectly play a 1950’s housewife at her wits end.
Bob DeMarco (Julian) was a ball of limitless energy and really set the pace for the show and had the audience laughing every time he was on stage. Kris Ballerini (Aunt Abby) was fantastic with an interesting “Mrs. Robinson” appeal to her character, my only complaint being that she doesn’t look old enough to be Faith’s aunt.
Ann D’Silva was quite funny as Miss Speare, her comedic timing was spot on. Anne McKernan (Valeria) was beyond perfect as Valeria, she took to the part with an adroitness that kept the audience in stitches.
Morgaine Ford (Veevy) was another audience favorite as the vapid airhead of the show, and the rest of the audience really seemed to love watching Natalie Chernicoff (Dagmar) boss her around and drag her across the stage.
Timothy Costello (Officer Magoon) was glee inducing to watch on stage, however his costume seemed a little too large on him. Andrea Ong (Lotta) had probably the fewest lines in the show, yet she carried her performance with fantastic body language.
The one detracting point was not the fault of the actors or crew at all, but of the ushers, a man in the front of the theater was either intoxicated or wrongly thought that he should talk back to the actors as if he were funnier than them (he wasn’t). In my opinion he should have been asked to either quiet down or leave the theater as it was rather distracting. My usher as well tried to sit me in the wrong seat twice, then walked off with my program and tickets.
With constant laughs every minute, an uproariously absurd plot and such great actors, you should make sure to try and squeeze in the time to see this laugh-so-hard-my-cheeks-hurt show before MAID TO ORDER takes the 10pm train out of town.
MAID TO ORDER
by Tom Taggart
Directed by Jim banar
Produced by Jackie Tamburrino
October 16-22, 2014
Newtown Arts Company
120 N. State Street
Newtown, PA 18940