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April 29th, 2003

Theater – A Blessing in Disguise

by Charles Roeder

First impressions are very important in every aspect of life and in theatre. This is true about “”BLESSING in DISGUISE.”” As you open the street door to the theatre, you are greeted with thousands of 2 inch square mirrors in a diamond pattern on black and red walls. You are immediately put into a mood for something different and enjoyable to take place. You will not be disappointed.

Larry Pellegrini [author/director] has written a fun, witty, and sometimes touching comedy. The plot, [Lady Linda must have 5 performers immediately for their show, or be fired], is a little weak, but it isn’t important, as everybody is having a good time. He moves the comedy along nicely with each character having a distinct personality. He has molded the cast into a very good acting ensemble.

Each of the “Queens” has their own solo number. Patrick Quinn, who calls himself the “mother of the troupe,” has the opening number. It sets the stage for the rest of the show. with his delivery and the song’s witty lines. In the second act his story on what it’s like to be “the other woman,” is very touching. His timing and voice reminds one of Bea Arthur. Julio Agustin has some of the funniest lines in the play. However, his heavy Spanish accent makes some of the lines difficult to understand. His facial expressions and body movements help to compensate.

Jeffrey Drew is great fun being the drunk. His solo spot is done very well with good audience contact. Ken Prymus, in hot pink, was hysterical in his tribute to Mary Kay [cosmetics]. He reminds one a little bit of Pearl Bailey. Charlee Chiv’s number was a sing-a-long with the audience that did not work very well. This was his first appearance in the role, so hopefully he will improve.

Rounding out the cast was Jacob Harran as the club owner, and James Grimaldi as his boy Friday. Both were fine in their roles, with Grimaldi’s larger role giving him more time to use his good acting ability.

Jason Howland’s music is tuneful and lively. The music is taped with each actor using his own voice.

Micheal Anania’s set works very well. Moving from the back stage dressing room, to the stage, and runway works effectively. The decor is as one would expect a drag queen?ɬ?s dressing room to look like. It is a riot of color, campy, and filled with clutter from feather boas, wigs, to outrageous accessories, and of course, a picture of Judy Garland. The costumes by Juan de Armas are bright and colorful. They could have been more flamboyant, the only ostrich plumes were part of the set decor. Edward Pierce’s lighting design, and Greg Vaughan’s make-up enhanced the show.

“BLESSING in DISGUISE” is great fun, so go see it at the Times Square Theatre, 675 8th Ave. As I said before, you will not be dissappointed. P.S. wear a feather boa or a tiara, if you have one!!!!!!

-Charles Roeder

Charles Roeder is a noted theatre devotee and critic who currently resides in the Hamptons.

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

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