Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Stage

Lusting for laughs? 'Sex Please, We're Sixty' is just the ticket

The cardinal rule of business is: Give the customers what they want.

And show biz is no different, whether it's Shakespeare, Ibsen or the Marx Brothers.

That could explain why the current offering at the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse, Sex Please, We're Sixty, quickly sold every seat for every show and is just as quickly selling out the added performance at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The zany plot is aimed straight at those of a certain age who are so ubiquitous around here. We get the jokes, we like the characters, and we love laughing out loud at them and ourselves as we recognize what's going on. Indeed, director Kathy Capelle's six well-chosen actors give it to us in spades for two solid belly-laughing hours, and costume designer Eileen's Bernard's outfits help set the tone.

Set in a current-day Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Sex Please revolves around four strong-willed women and two neighboring men who couldn't be any more different.

White-haired Bud "the Stud" Davis (a delightful Bill Scott) is constantly on the prowl for the new "chicks," as he calls them, who sign the B&B registry. He's hoping that some of his favorites from the previous year will show up, never mind that he can't remember their names or exactly what they looked like.

"Everything's working except my memory," he muses.

The courtly Henry Mitchell (a solid Gary Depp), a retired chemist, only has eyes for the B&B owner, the obsessively punctual and proper Mrs. Stancliffe (a lovely Karen Doxey), a widow of 25 years who has refused Henry's daily marriage proposals for the past 20 years.

The three female guests are romance novelist Victoria Ambrose (a plucky Terri Marwood), who is suffering from writer's block and hoping for some local inspiration; scientist/researcher Hillary Hudson (a sophisticated, cultured Jacki Scott), an old pal of Bud's; and Southern charmer Charmaine Beauregard (a properly over-the-top Rose DeAngelo).

Henry confides to Bud that he's invented a new pill, Venusia, a female Viagra that stimulates a menopausal woman's libido. The women find out, pilfer some of the pills and the comedy ensues.

Central to it is Scott's portrayal of Bud the Stud. Scott's physical humor — hunching his shoulders, wiggling his hips, nursing his aching back, happily dancing around when he thinks he's close to a conquest — and big ol' Rodney Dangerfield eyes are a joy to behold and deservedly get many of the biggest and best laughs. It's unfortunate some of his best lines are spoken so quietly and quickly that they don't reach the back rows, because they're all doozies. (Hint: If you have a hearing problem, try to sit close to the front.)

Playwrights Michael and Susan Parker pepper their play with good lines for everyone. "Instead of growing old gracefully, he's growing old disgracefully," Victoria says of Bud the Stud. Even when they overload Charmaine with too many groan-worthy Southern cliches, Ms. DeAngelo overplays them so much that they become rather endearing.

Playgoers who like the Parker writing style can see another of his shows when New Port Richey's Richey Suncoast Theatre does The Amorous Ambassador, opening Thursday and continuing weekends through Nov. 3.

Comments
Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra wraps up its final masterworks concert of the season with a masterfully complex Johannes Brahms piano concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s warmly accessible Symphony No. 6, commonly known as the "Pastoral."Friday’s sold-o...
Published: 05/19/18
Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra will begin tutoring at-risk children free of charge, thanks to a Hillsborough County grant.The $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. pays for six weeks of violin instruction at select recreatio...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Orchestra performs last masterworks of the season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

Orchestra performs last masterworks of the season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

GRAND MASTERS: BEETHOVEN AND BRAHMSIt’s last call for the Florida Orchestra’s masterworks season. And why not close out the 50th season with two passionate cannon blasts, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, better known as th...
Published: 05/16/18
Review: ‘Addams Family’ cast, choreography, costumes worth seeing at Richey Suncoast

Review: ‘Addams Family’ cast, choreography, costumes worth seeing at Richey Suncoast

NEW PORT RICHEY — DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. SHOW.I’m talking about The Addams Family, the musical comedy based on the Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons, several television series and two feature films, but with updated cultural references for current au...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Review: ‘Calendar Girls’ stage show needs a touch-up

Oh, how I wish this could be a glowing review of the dramedy Calendar Girls, playing weekends through May 20 at Stage West Community Playhouse.The show about longtime friends semi-baring their bosoms to make a calendar to raise money to buy a sofa fo...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18
13-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer talks 'America's Got Talent' and more

13-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer talks 'America's Got Talent' and more

TAMPA — You wouldn’t guess it from her exuberance and stage presence, qualities that helped her win last year’s America’s Got Talent, but Darci Lynne Farmer was once shy and withdrawn. "It was hard," the 13-year-old singing v...
Published: 05/10/18
Freefall’s adaptation of ‘The Machine Stops,’ a story from 1909, just might foretell the future

Freefall’s adaptation of ‘The Machine Stops,’ a story from 1909, just might foretell the future

ST. PETERSBURGImagine a world in which people live underground because the air is too polluted to breathe; humans communicate through a vast "Machine" that connects anyone in the world through undersea cables but exacts a price in lost intimacy.Of co...
Published: 05/09/18
What’s on stage this week: Darci Lynne Farmer, Florida Orchestra does Michael Jackson

What’s on stage this week: Darci Lynne Farmer, Florida Orchestra does Michael Jackson

AGT WINNER: DARCI LYNNE FARMERBy the time Darci Lynne Farmer took the America’s Got Talent stage with her puppet, Petunia, the young ventriloquist had already won entertainer of the year honors at American Kids in Branson, Mo., and an International M...
Published: 05/09/18

Stage West announces 2018-19 season, ticket prices

SPRING HILL — A 15-year-old comedy by comedian/banjo player Steve Martin that is new to this area is one of eight shows announced for the 2018-19 season at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill.It’s The Underpants, an adaptation of the 1910 G...
Published: 05/07/18
Updated: 05/08/18

Richey Suncoast announces changes, 2018-19 seasons

NEW PORT RICHEY — Richey Suncoast Theatre has announced major changes for the 2018-19 season at its Grand Boulevard venue, as well as the return of a four-show season geared toward mature audiences in an intimate Black Box Theatre setting.The most ob...
Published: 05/07/18