STAGE REVIEW They say laughter can cure a multitude of ills. If that's the case, then "The Worthmores" is just what the doctor ordered. From start to finish, this delightfully fresh, funny-and at times, frisky-production serves up no shortage of laugh-out-loud moments.
Written by Maui author and actor Tom Althouse and ably directed by Lisa Teichner, "The Worthmores" (or, "The Maid Unmade") is a charming comedy of errors that teems with well-executed silliness in the spirit of Monty Python and Mel Brooks. Equal parts romantic comedy and social commentary, Althouse's original script is both laugh-inducing and thought-provoking.
Collectively, the cast is a comic tour de force, masterfully and effortlessly delivering clever, innuendo-laden dialogue with panache. Among the principal cast members, Steven Dascoulias and Kristi Scott are pitch perfect as Mr. and Mrs. Rivers, the noble couple whose obsessive house cleaning antics are riddled with hilarity.
Dale Button and Mayor Alan Arakawa, along with other local cast members, leave the door wide open for comedy in “The Worthmores,” onstage this weekend at the Historic Iao Theater.
JACK GRACE photo
Althouse and Jeff Brackett are both tender and comical as lovestruck suitors Bragabit and Young George, respectively. The objects of their affection, the feisty Lady Anne (played by Brett Wulfson) and her demure cousin, Molly (played by Hoku Pavao Jones), elicit their fair share of laughs with quippy, audience-pleasing one-liners. The same goes for Sharleen La Renn Lagatutta, who shines as Moppet, the enigmatic housemaid who, we soon discover, is more than meets the eye.
As the unapologetically narcissistic and irresistibly funny Colonel Vainlove, Ricky Jones manages to steal just about every scene he's in-particularly when he trades barbs onstage with The Magistrate, played by Kepa Cabanilla-Aricayos.
Dale Button, Joshua Franco, Justin House, John Messersmith, David Negaard, Jim Oxborrow, David Pisoni, Mannasseh Robidoux and Jonathan Severance round out this all-star cast, and their stellar performances add a healthy dose of off-kilter charm and wit to the production.
Under the direction of set designer Caro Walker, the set of "The Worthmores" is functional, aesthetically appealing and just as original as the show itself. The same can be said for the handiwork of costume designer Marsha Kelley, whose 18th century London fashions add to the quirky ambience of the show.
The sheer silliness of this production is bound to be infectious, so it's a safe bet that "The Worthmores" will leave you smiling long after the final curtain call.
* "The Worthmores" continues this weekend: Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Tickets range from $18 to $22. To purchase tickets for any Iao Theater event, call 242-6969 or order online at www.mauionstage.com.