By Marshall Karp
Directed by Lorraine Patria
Starring Russell R. Trahan, Ali Jagic, and Andres Salgado
Mimi’s Community Theatre
Presented at the Winter Garden Masonic Hall
Winter Garden, FL
There’s no kvetching like Alte Kocker Kvetching. We find ourselves in a typical American home located conveniently on the ground floor of an old-school Masonic Hall. Above us weird rituals generate sounds ominously similar to an infestation of River Dancers; below Shannon (Jagic) and Jerry (Salgado) try to live in quiet wedded bliss. Love would be enough if not for Alice’s cranky dad Abe (Trahan). Abe is too old to live alone but too spry to be any help to the marriage. He’s territorial and full of useless advice and commentary but each of the loving couple work so that keeps the pressure off. Off until there’s a bun in the oven and Alice’s mom Mildred (Carmen Borja) arrives from her burnt out house with her remaining belongings in a lawn bag. Now we ask the dramatic question: Who will move into the small bedroom, and can two mortal enemies live together when the only oral sex they have is yelling “Screw You!” across the dinner table?
It’s a slice of life here; we tackle a common problem facing so many American couples: God gave their folks four score and ten, so what sin did we commit to keep them hanging around? Trahan dominates the stage; he has the best lines and the loudest projection even at the cost of pushing too hard from time to time. Salgado remains upbeat and a bit goofy; he’s balanced by the slow burning Ms. Alijagic. Sassy Mother Superior to Abe plays a solid foil to Trahan; she starts from a position of weakness but uses verbal judo to eventually topple him. Comic support comes from the truly bizarre lawn guy Hector (Ron Miles). He’s the walk-on sitcom neighbor who lives in the upstairs bathroom and speaks with an inexplicable squeak.
For a new company, the set impresses even though it’s just made of Styrofoam and architectural scavenge. This is a good selection for a beginning show; I hear there are more challenging titles on their roster for the near future. While this location is a bit hard to find (Go to the western-most lighted trees and turn right) it gives Winter Garden a second theater option and one that has the opportunity to take on lesser known authors in an acoustically sound setting. Winter Garden – it’s not just bicycles and car shows anymore!
For more information on Mimi’s Community Theater please visit https://www.facebook.com/littlecommunitytheater/