Friday, July 17, 2015

Final Days of Guys and Dolls at the RTC - Entire Run of 10 Shows Sold Out - David Bentley Reviews Show

The rowdy esprit de corps that permeates the wonderful ensemble efforts of this cast is highly visible in the interactions of these lovable gangsters. A standout in that regard is the
 brilliant performance of Chazmond Peacock in the role of Nicely-Nicely. His joyous delivery of the show’s Act Two blockbuster, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” was a Broadway-caliber performance.
Chazmond Peacock in the role of Nicely-Nicely, Photo: Courtesy of RTC, John Panepinto
And if you think gangsters can’t dance, think again before you see the talented guys in this cast do their stuff while gambling their way through numbers like, “Oldest Established,” and “Luck be a Lady.” (Choreographer, Nicola DePierro-Nellen).
Miss Byrne is sensational as this adorable nightclub singer who is losing patience at being “engaged for fourteen years,” and having to make up stories in order for her mother to believe that she and Nathan are already
married with children. Byrne’s terrific voice and flair for comedy would have carried this role on any stage, anywhere, and Broadway audiences wouldn’t have hesitated to declare her a star. Whether leading the talented Hot Box Girls in both “Bushel & a Peck,” and the uproarious, “Take Back Your Mink,” or joining in brilliant duet with smooth-voiced Smilardi for the savage, “Sue Me,” or better still, knocking the ball out of the park with the hilarious, “Adelaide’s Lament,” this gal has it all. Wow!

... David Bentley,

Those long days (matinees) and nights are coming to an end this weekend at the Rockaway Theatre Company after 3 months of intensity - set building,

Photos by John Panepinto

almost daily rehearsals and spending almost 5 hours at each performance. Even after getting home at 11 I am too keyed up to sleep. I now understand the fascination some people have with being involved in theater work and the immense amount of time they put in. Above are John Panepinto's (who plays Nathan Detroit and a crap shooter on alt days) super photos he took of the entire cast, including me in my 2 roles (I have no lines to remember thank goodness.)

Tonight MORE and ICE pal Yelena Siwinski and her boyfriend are making the trek out to Rockaway to see the show, as is former colleague and fellow writing group member Mary Hoffman.

Last week another former colleague and theater critic ( and Rockaway resident David Bentley came to see the show and his review was picked up by The Wave:
He sent me an advance copy which was sent to the cast and they were thrilled. He sent this message with other links to his review.
I am happy to report the GUYS & DOLLS review now resides in two locations. You may have already seen it if a subscriber to my website, but if not, just check out the lead story at:

In addition, the story was also picked up by the BroadwayStars website in New York where it now tops my listings there at:
David is an interesting story. He was my teaching neighbor just down the hall for 25 years and preceded me as chapter leader - and was a Unity Caucus member who often fed me info -- I first heard the name Randi Weingarten from him when he told me there was some resentment over her being pushed ahead of others. He took the 1995 buyout at age 50 and went back to his first love - the theater - by becoming The Peoples Critic, reviewing plays from his second home near Houston and on his travels back and forth to Rockaway and upstate NY where he hails from.

I'm so glad I found this opportunity so close to home. Most people involved come from outside Rockaway and travel through big traffic jams to get there. Yesterday one of our dancers, a native of Japan, had to take a cab to make it on time.  And I feel so at home with so many teachers involved.

Master builder Tony Homsey,
who plays a few roles in the show, is already at work building the set for Little Shop of Horrors, opening in August. We are building a turnatable to revolve the set and I'm heading over now to put the thing together. Monday we strike the set and Tues be start building in earnest.


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