A review by Suzanne Birrell.
Johnny Ferretti (l.), Heather Alyse Becker, Joseph Bongiovann.
Photos Charlie Mount
Laughter is the best medicine and there is an abundance to be had in Thicker Than Water now showing at Theatre West. This hilarious presentation of family loyalty is just what the doctor ordered. I laughed so hard I cried.
Thicker Than Water is one of those shows you'll want to see more than once.
Tommy Correlli, hysterically played with a straight face by Joseph Bongiovanni, is called to return home believing that his father Dominick, played by Johnny Ferretti, is having a heath crises. The misunderstandings start as soon as he walks in the door. His mother Rose, played with just the right amount of sauce by Mary Garripoli, is more concerned about her hair than her husband being at the hospital. Brother and sister, Marie and Carmine, played by Heather Alyse Becker and Johnny Ferretti, arrive to clear up the mystery.
(left: Mary Garripoli)
The family business is having a health crises. Aunt Gertrude, played with panache by Constance Mellors, plans to destroy Corelli Construction Company by starting her own company. Brother and sister have things under control. They plan on doing the old lady in. Tommy is sworn to secrecy and so becomes an accessory to the crime. Dad and Uncle Albert, played by David Mingrino, have a plan to deal with Aunt Gertrude as well. Tommy is again sworn to secrecy. The peacemaker through it all is Mama Rose, but you don't ever want to cross an Italian mama. She has some plans as well that involve Grandma. Meredith Angst, played by Maria Kress, is overwhelmed by all the family drama and almost destroys everyone's well laid plans by pulling out a gun. Dr. Flanken, played by Jack Kutcher, is always on call to mix the pot up even more. And then there's Grandma who never comes up from the basement.
(Right: Connie Mellors, David Mingrino)
Each and every one of the performances are stellar. Each character is endearing. We even love Gertrude though everyone seems to want her dead. After hearing so much about her, when she finally made her appearance, the audience applauded.
Directed by Stu Berg, Thicker Than Water is a perfect comedy of errors. The set design by Jeff Rack was just right. I felt right at home as soon as I walked in the theatre. ( I too had an Italian Grandmother who thought food was always the best medicine). Writer Roy Battocchio must have been to a couple of our family dinners, I felt like I was back to my childhood and watching my aunts and uncles.
(Left: Johnny Ferretti and Mary Garripoli)
A standing ovation, lots of laughter, folks all around wiping the tears from their eyes: Thicker Than Water is perfect fare. It's a must see for all ages.
Friday, Saturday and Sundays thru March 13, 2016
AT Theatre West
3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West.
(Free parking across the street!!!!!!!!)
The Sunday, February 21 performance will be followed by a Q &A along with a wine and dessert reception.
Listen to the interviews with Ashton Marcus