70 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • MAY 10, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
‘Follies’ at APAC
A VIEW FROM
BY CLIFF KASDEN
Th e brightest hopes and darkest realities
of love and marriage compete for our
attention. Th at is, when challenged by
APAC’s version of Stephen Sondheim’s
Tony winning musical, “Follies.”
Th is clever, poignant production is set
in the 1970s with parallel characters and
scenes from the 1940s. Th e “Follies”
showgirls as their present and former
selves reunite for one last look in the mirror.
Th eir beloved theater is yielding to
the next wave of cold modernity.
Director Dev Bondarin has selected this
nostalgic project for at least one similar
reason. She said, “Nearing the end of our
17th season ... we are leaving our home
of 10 seasons. As we transition again, we
move forward in strength, grateful for the
past and excited about the future.”
On opening night, the packed house
enjoyed a dazzling confrontation between
the follies of human nature and the uplift -
ing music and talent that is the musical,
“Follies.” Tenor Dan Entriken sings
“Beautiful Girls” as the procession of costumed
performers (Jennifer Jacob, costume
designer) descends an elegant staircase
(Ann Beyersdorfer, sets).
Battling twosome Sally and Buddy (Tina
Staff ord, Greg Horton) meet their match
with equally unhappy Phyllis (Marcie
Henderson) and Ben (Bruce Sabath).
Th eir younger selves are less combative
but just as passionate. Kudos to Andrea
Dotto, Tia DeShazor, Ben Northrup and
Boundless wit, energy and elegance
defi ne the many songs (James Higgins,
musical direction) and dances (Sara Brians,
choreographer) delivered by the entire
cast. By the fi nal curtain we are reminded
that love and marriage can withstand
human weakness — with class. Bravo!
For information on this and future
productions at Astoria Performing
Arts Center, just call 718-706-5750,
visit APACNY.org or “like” them on
Facebook. As always, save me a seat on
‘Lovers and Other Strangers’ at RTC
Th e once popular catch
phrase, “What’s the story,
Richie?” celebrates its glorious
origin in the irreverent
comedy “Lovers and Other
Unfolding in the 1970s,
the story is penned by
acclaimed comedic couple
Joe Bologna and Renee
Taylor. The Rockaway
Th eatre Company, directed
by Peggy Page and Michael
Wotypka delivers their
interpretation with their distinctive
skill and versatility.
Th ere are four very funny
vignettes in Act I and a hilarious “big
scene” in Act II. Th e characters’ downto
earth humor is fi lled with wacky wisdom.
It deft ly tags a collective funny
bone in our overly jaded 21st-century
So, what’s the story? Well, the actors
confront the daily crises of love and marriage.
Sometimes we are mere strangers,
other times lovers. In the end, life’s plan
for us is far stronger than our foolish
eff orts to undo it. So, that’s the story!
As usual, producer Susan Jasper guarantees
an outstanding cast that is both
vulnerable and powerful in their actions
and reactions. Act II scene-stealers Fred
Grieco and Lynda Browning are surrounded
by a combination of local theater
veterans and bright newcomers.
Bravo to Linda Soria, Brian
Sadowski, Frank Freeman,
Susan Corning, David Risley,
Jodee Timpone, Dante Rei,
Adele Wendt, Nathan Reder,
Steven Wagner and Dana
Mongelli. Well-deserved bows
belong to the creative staff
behind the scenes.
For information on this
and future productions call
718-374-6400, visit rockawaytheatrecompany.
“like” them on Facebook. As
always, save me a seat on the
‘The Sunshine Boys’ at DCT
A legendary but imaginary
comedic duo called “Lewis
and Clark” are reunited for
one last gig. It has been a
half century and their glory
days are far, far behind them.
Th ere is just one hurdle preventing
return — they can’t stand
Th is hilarious, award-winning
Neil Simon comedy is
logging lots of laughter at
the Douglaston Community
Th eatre. Th e wise-cracking
curmudgeon Willie Clark is
played to perfection by Frank
DiSpigno, who also directs.
With dozens of productions
to his credit, he is fi nally sharing
his talents with northeast
Queens troupes. In this project,
his relentless rounds of
ruthless ridicule are directed
against his former Vaudeville
partner Al Lewis (Gary
Tifeld). Poor Al must withstand
the endless verbal jibes
while seemingly unaware of
his alleged misdeeds. At any
rate, the twosome’s timing
through Acts I and II is a
delight to behold.
Long-suff ering nephew and
theatrical agent Ben Silverman
is played by Matt Stashin. He owns the
unenviable task of bringing friend and foe
together, even if it kills them all! Th e supporting
cast (Robert Gold, Nili Resnick and
Donna Morales) play their roles with amazing
verbal dexterity and (for Resnick) some
fi ne physical humor.
Kudos as well to producer Barbara
Mavro, Ian McDonald (sets), Robert
Stivanello (lighting design) and everyone
behind the scenes who have maintained
this troupe for more than six decades.
For information on this and future
productions, call 718-482-3332 or “like”
them on Facebook.
As always, save me a seat on the aisle.