A SALUTE TO THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW
Presented by the Orange Community Players
Reviewed by Jeanette Boehme
Carol Burnett is well celebrated and saluted by the Orange Community Players in the delightful and hilarious performance presently playing at the playhouse. There are belly laughs aplenty in store for the audiences.
The “salute” consists of more than a dozen skits taken from The Carol Burnett Show’s 278 episodes that ran from 1967 to 1978 on television, garnering 25 Emmy’s along the way.
There are also eight singing numbers featuring songs from that era. Strolling down memory lane are Codie Vasquez as Mama Cass, Nolan Thornal and Deah Daigle as Donny and Marie, and Joshua Cuccio as Tiny Tim to mention a few. The “I
Am Woman” rendition by Ariel Killian is especially well done.
Janet Bland, Deah Daigle, and DeeDee Howell are the three actresses privileged to portray Carol Burnett during the skits. All of them turn in strong performances but DeeDee Howell takes on Carol Burnett’s persona the best. Her body language, voice inflections, and scene stealing get-ups make you forget that Carol is not really on stage. This reviewer could not stop laughing at the “Mrs. Wiggins Sketch” in which DeeDee plays the very dumb secretary with the exaggerated derriere. Bravo to DeeDee!
The male scene stealer is Wyatt Plunkett playing the randy “old man” and is especially good as Mrs. Wiggins’ boss. His portrayal is very well done and his Tim Conway Scandinavian accent is believeable. Kudo’s to Wyatt!
Other skits include “As the Stomach Turns” featuring Janet Bland turning in her usual outstanding performance, “Wallflowers”, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “The Welfare Worker” with Rico and Codie Vasquez providing fine performances, and Ariel Killian and Rachel Brady delightfully playing girl scouts blackmailing a customer into giving them more money in “The Fireside Girls.”
Deah Daigle deserves a special mention for her turn as the vixen, temptress Cindy in one of the two episodes of “As the Stomach Turns.” She turns the heads of all the male characters in that skit and the audience. Hurrah for Deah!
A special shout-out goes out to the costume selections, They are spot on. However, the music over-powers the singers at times. A body or hand microphone would help this. The show ran long on time a bit in rehearsal but perhaps all of this will be worked out by showtime. Kevin Doss, the director, certainly knows how to do comedy. This is definitely a “don’t miss” show.
Every actor and actress gives terrific portrayals and all of them are commended. They appear to enjoy their roles and put their hearts in to performing their very best. Perhaps this is influenced by the fact that this show is a tribute to the late Jeff Hattman who pushed to have this show done. There are also heavy hearts at the Playhouse this week due to the sudden death of long-time actor and supporter of OCP, John Hall. Demonstrating that they are true troopers, “the show must go on” as John and Jeff would have wanted.
The performances are August 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 at 7:37 P.M. and a matinee at 2:27 on Sunday August 19. Ticket prices are adults $12 and students $5. Reservations may be made by calling 409-882-9137 or at www.orangecommunityplayers.com