The musical revue that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Parkside Players is different, delightfully so, from any other revue the reviewer has gone to. The program isn’t just made up of one smashing Broadway song after another — the songs are broken up by scenes from the many plays and musicals the Parkside Players have put on over the years.
Indeed, actor W. Gordon Innes does the tour de force of reciting a line or two from every play that he’s been in at Parkside, while an assistant holds up poster-sized title cards. The plays run from “The Nerd” to “The Tempest” to “Camelot” to “Proof,” and Innes seems to have been in every one of them. More, the plot of the revue, if you can call it a plot, concerns a many-titled detective nicknamed Olivia and his (yep, he’s a man, played with a medium-boiled cool by Jaime Cradehl) search to find the reason why people put on plays and musicals and create art in the first place.
Susan Erenberg directs a large cast, with Richard Louis-Pierre as the musical director and the ever-brilliant David Arzberger as the choreographer. Arzberger also does his thing in a scene from “Man of La Mancha,” with himself as a swashbuckling Don Quixote and the ever superb Richard Weyhausen as Sancho Panza. I’m still wondering when Broadway is going to snatch these chaps up.
Other performers from the Queens theater scene appear, including Shana Aborn, charmingly naughty in “I Never Do Anything Twice” from “Side by Side” by Sondheim, and Valerie G. Keane, who belts out a show stopping version of “What Kind Of Fool Am I?” from “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.”
There’s Ian McDonald, Alison Schwab and Alicia Brosky, hilarious in a bit from “Crazy and a Half” where she threatens the life of her therapist if he doesn’t make her happy right now. She’s also sultry during the “You’ve Got Possibilities” number from “It’s A Bird ... It’s a Plane ... It’s Superman.” Kieran Larkin, last seen in “On Golden Pond” in Douglaston, sings “Plant A Radish,” from “The Fantasticks” with Weyhausen, and Nili Resnick is soulfully sweet even when she’s being snippy, as in the “Lovely” number she performs with Schwab and Lauren Snyder.
Steven Callahan, Rosemary Innes, Francesco LoJacono, who opens the show with “Cheek to Cheek” Lori Ann Santipetro and Peter Sullivan round out the cast.
Of course, everything ends on a joyous note. Olivia is so beguiled that he’s reduced to singing “Always” from “Cocoanuts” to his flashlight, to the bemusement of his singing partner Lauren. The very last number, natch, is the company singing “Putting It Together” from —- what was that musical? “Company,” I believe. Anyway, it was Sondheim. And it was wonderful.
“Parkside@30: A Musical Celebration” will be at the Grace Lutheran Church till December 4.
If You Go
Parkside @ 30: A Musical Celebration
When: Remaining performances: Dec. 3 & 4, 8 p.m.
Where: Grace Lutheran Church, 103-15 Union Turnpike, Forest Hills
Cost: $17 / $14 for seniors
Contact: (718) 497-4922 or theparksid
Web site: parksideplayers.com
©2010 Community News Group
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