By Thom deMartino/Orange County Tribune
It’s all fun and games until your presumed dead first wife shows up.
Along with ringing in the new year, the Westminister Community Playhouse is coming out swinging with a brand-new comedy, the Jim Katapodis-directed “One Wife Too Many”.
Television actor James Holden (Jeremy Krasovic) has returned home with his newest wife, Alicia (L. Ariana Rubio), but besides trying to celebrate his honeymoon with his new bride, secretly he’s trying to get the newest show put together with the help of his friend Hank (Dante Velez), including casting the actress who will play his TV wife. Unfortunately, it seems that his newest beloved has had ulterior motives for marriage in the first place … as she’s more enthusiastic about trying to land the role on the show then she is about being his wife in reality.
But as Alicia and her best friend Mitzi (a wonderfully goofy Stacy Castiglione) are fumbling with their own plans, they could never suspect that their newest obstacle is James’s presumed-dead first wife, the actress Velvet Taylor (Adriana Catanzarite), whose friend and agent Sally Fox (Spenser Woolard) has accompanied her to speak with her unknowing husband.
To add fuel to the fire, his assertive second wife Phoebe (Miki Gonzales) has shown up with her own befuddled husband Lance (Ervin Bolisay): it seems the paperwork was never properly finalized on their divorce, so therefore her current marriage is arguably fraudulent. Compounding all of this, there’s Holden’s agent Lane Lawson (Eduardo Mora) trying to run the auditions in the adjacent apartment next door, without the knowledge of his current wife (or of her intentions.)
And as if this wasn’t all enough, there’s his forgotten third marriage, resulting from a crazy night in Vegas: and his ex Rita (Lisa Caperton) has arrived to add to the honeymoon festivities. This, coupled with her hot headed Vegas mobster boyfriend Max Malone (Leo Avila) is a recipe for disaster once he shows up with his two goons to … eliminate the competition, shall we say?
It’s a potential powder keg ready to blow, with four potential fuses to light it up…
After the last few weeks of dreary rain and cold, WCP’s “One Wife Too Many” is the perfect excuse to come out from your winter hibernation. There’s even a number of new faces in the WCP company, introducing a number of new talents to the troupe.
While Krasovic’s Holden may seem a bit too aloof with his new bride, all becomes clear as the audience discovers the deep love he had — even still has — for the lost Velvet (even so far as to keep a special photo of her on his phone): and that despite the passing of years, has never been able to let her go.
Catanzarite’s Velvet is a woman looking for some kind of closure — having only recently returned from abroad (as well as from the dead), she’s only just learned of her husband’s new marriage, but though eager explain to Holden what really happened, she is equally terrified as to reveal herself (and her disguised turn as the psychic “Lady Scarlet” to throw Holden and newest wife Alicia off her trail is one of the most fun bits in an already lively show.)
There are a number of standout performances throughout the play: wives #2 and #3, Phoebe and Rita are hysterical in their own right, and some of the best moments come with the under-the-radar auditions that Holden’s agent Lane and the ill-humored director Sidney Hightower (Michael Corcoran) hold in the adjacent apartment, and they are ones for the books.
First is the rough-around-the-edges, aggressive but amiable Pepper (Aria Patterson), manhandling Holden as they run lines; the wonderfully over-the-top, chewing the scenery actress Ebony (Jaylee McClain); as well as the nerve-wracked and bashful Angel (Rachel Salamonca).
Avila’s stylish Vegas mobster Malone is a man driven by his passion (albeit misdirected), and even his thugs (played by Frank McCay and Russell Malang) are unusually charming, with McCay’s Monster being strangely sweet and Malang’s Weasel delightfully salty.
“One Wife Too Many” is a fun-filled show with colorful and diverse characters, as well as some outstanding performances, and well worth braving the elements for, rain or shine.
“One Wife Too Many.” Jeremy Krasovic, Adriana Catanzarite and L. Ariana Rubio star in this madcap tale of one man’s Gordian Knot of relationships, and if he can extricate himself intact. Now playing through Jan. 29 at the Westminister Community Playhouse, 7272 Maple St, Westminster, CA 92683. Ticketing information available online at http://www.wcpstage.com, or call 714-893-8626.
Categories: Arts & Leisure