In the Wings
(See Another Promenade Theatre Review)
2162 Broadway at 76th Street
A New Comedy by Stewart F. Lane
Songs by Michael Garin
Directed by Jeremy Dobrish
Lisa Datz as Melinda Donahugh
Brian Henderson as Nicky Sanders
Josh Prince as Steve Leonards
Peter Scolari as Bernardo
Marilyn Sokol as Martha Leonards
Presented by Bonnie Comley and Stellar Productions Int’l., Inc.
Press Representative: Keith Sherman Associates
Set Design: William Barclay
Costume Design: Mattie Ulrich
Lighting Design: Phil Monat
Sound Design: Jill B C DuBoff
Casting: Liz Lewis and Elizabeth Bunnell
Production Stage Manager: Pamela Edington
General Manager: Roger Alan Gindi
Marketing: HHC Marketing
Production Manager: PRF Productions
Music, Music Direction, and Lyrics: Michael Garin, Edward Strauss, Martin Erskine, Doug Maxwell, and Peter Scolari
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 11, 2005
The stars of this new lackluster play are Marilyn Sokol as an endearing and quintessential Jewish mother, Peter Scolari as a hormonal and fluttering playwright, and a collection of 70’s Playbills, decorating kitchen cabinets. Young couple enter and kiss, then real live-in lover enters for more kissing, then playwright potential enters for better kissing, then Jewish mother enters for numerous kisses with son, then playwright gets girl, then first actor lover gets girl, and finally…You get the point.
Amidst what could have been madcap mayhem, had this been a better play, more tightly directed, was one hilarious scene of mother and son in song and dance routine, as well as another, as Bernardo huffed up to the couple’s Lower East Side walkup, collapsing in mimed exhaustion. Marilyn Sokol and Peter Scolari have superb timing, pantomime, attitude, and just the funniest mannerisms. I’d love to see Ms. Sokol in a non-Jewish mother role, to see if these strengths transfer, as another such role would be déjà vu. And, I’d love to see Peter Scolari in a better play.
However, Lisa Datz, as Melinda, and Josh Prince, as Steve, as the on again, off again would be Broadway babies give extended soporific performances, many of which included going in and out of an offstage shower! When Melinda and Steve are tapped for Bernardo’s new play, I Married a Communist, Melinda becomes a star, and Steve becomes an out-of-work actor, as the other on again, off again lover, Nicky, takes his part. At times it’s confusing, as Bernardo and Nicky take turns singing against a tacky theatrical backdrop, with Russian communism as the motif. Lisa takes her own turn at the forgettable songs, and finally the threadbare plot unwinds.