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Theatre arts reviewer for past 15 years. Delve in to biz of arts also
A VERY Funny Thing Happened on the way to Chapel Street
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By Greer Firestone

- Playwright/actor in 1 man First Person Multi Media Living History show THE DuPONT STORY  A FAMILY A COMPANY

- Playwright ...

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Aisle Say

- Playwright/actor in 1 man First Person Multi Media Living History show THE DuPONT STORY  A FAMILY A COMPANY

- Playwright of Broadway style musical GERSHWIN, by GEORGE: The 1936 Radio, JUDY GARLAND \x34World's Greatest Entertainer\x34

- Author of historical novel: ALEXEI and RASPUTIN

- High school soccer and lacrosse ref and arts/non-profits advocate

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By Greer Firestone
June 11, 2013 1:12 p.m.



Aisle Say does not take his profession as arts reviewer lightly. He seeks to give quiet counsel, to mentor and give succor to all Delaware thespians. If an actor creates a hazardous situation for himself, then Aisle Say must be ever vigilant to give advice to this member of his theatrical flock.

            Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to raise concern over the facial machinations of one Peter Briccotto (Pseudolis) in Chapel Street's FORUM.  Continued employment of these physical gyrations may very result in long term damage. Accordingly, I turned to a renown proctologist and plastic surgeon, Dr. Seymour Butts, for his counsel.

Aisle Say:  Sir, Last weekend I witnessed Mr. Briccotto's excessively rubbery face expressing such a wide variety of emotion over this two hour theatricale in downtown Newark DE.  Should he or his dear mother be concerned about this young man's face or eyes freezing in these odd but quite amusing contortions?

Butts:  I have never heard tell of such a condition. Can you elucidate, sir?

AS: To wit:  As the comely and quite curvaceous courtesans were being introduced to Pseudolus by their gullible and guileless owner Walt Osborne (Lycus), Mr. Briccotto's myriad expressions ranging from delight to ecstasy reminded one of Jerry Lewis in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. His dancing eyes - while lascivious in their intent - were reminiscent of Marty Feldman in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. I am dreadfully fearful that the total sum of these spasms - while absolutely hysterical for the audience - may cause excessive wear and tear to the body and perhaps shorten his career on stage.

 Butts: This young man should take your wise counsel and pace himself. But go on, tell me of the other players. Was there something 'familiar' or something 'peculiar' about the others?

            One must remark on the thrilling voice of Tina Sheing (Domina), accurately describing her wayward husband Pete Mathews (Senex)  in "That Dirty Old Man". Ashley Wright's (Philia) clarion voice is even lovelier than her signature song, "I'm Lovely".

            Dominic Santos (Hysterium) was every bit a comedic match for Pseudolis. His most significant moment of giddiness came as the vainglorious Patrick Sutton (Miles Gloriosis) mourned. (Of course, you would be frantic too if just been informed you would be immolated in a 'pyre of fire'!  

            The Proteans, Bill Campbell, Bill Swezey and A.J. LoPorto, played several different bumbling  roles with gusto. My personal favorite was as the trio of eunuchs. All male thespians should portray a eunuch. While it limits one's sex life, it will certainly enhance a community theatre resume.

            Chapel Street icon Renee O'Leary was delightfully and wickedly cast by Director Brian Touchette as Erronious. Each time she appeared onstage the chucking began, even before her lines "2nd time around", "3rd time around", etc.  This is Renee's 50th Chapel Street fundraiser, an incredible accomplishment. That and the other contributions she has made to The Brandywiners, Best of Broadway and other groups make her a true lady of DE community theatre.

            This may be one of the silliest shows ever written. In whatever level of theatre, the audience member cannot escape the volumes of laughter associated with these irrepressible antics. Yet the composer is Sondheim, a genius who is spoken in the same breath as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin and Lerner & Loewe. It is almost incomprehensible to consider that the same brain that wrote this Marx Brothers brand of wackiness also wrote the sensuous and dreamy LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC or ASSASSINS!

FORUM is a very very funny show. Every miniscule of possible hilarity is maximized.

Through June 22.   ChapelStreetPlayers.org  368.2248

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