Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nana’s Naughty Knickers—Twilight Theater Company—N. Portland

Wily Wicked Women

This adult comedy is written by Katherine DiSavino and directed by Sue Harris.  It is playing at their new space, 7515 N. Brandon Ave. (just off Lombard), through May 10th.  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-847-9838.

Some Golden-agers in New York City, Sylvia (Jodi Rafkin) and her best friend, Vera (Bonnie Littleton), not quite ready to give up the ghost yet, have decided to go into business for themselves in Sylvia’s apartment, unbeknown to her landlord, Mr. Schmidt (Rob Harris).  The business involves making and selling naughty lingerie items to other mature women.  And it seems the apartment was once owned by a notorious bootlegger and so has plenty of hiding places for such items.

But complications arise when Sylvia’s grand-daughter, Bridget (Taylor Lane), a rather straight-laced young lady, decides to move in and stay with her for the summer.  And it also doesn’t help that the local beat cop, O’Grady (Breon McMullin), has taken a shine to her (and she to him).  But when Sylvia is sent, mistakenly, a rather large order for some X-rated, sex toys and clothing, people become suspicious and her daughter is unceremoniously drawn into this web of wanton women.

Also, it doesn’t help when the UPS Woman (Sophie Schmidt) tries to hit on Bridget and a strange, saucy lady, Heather (Amanda Andersen) shows up on their doorstep, and the landlord threatens to evict Sylvia, and their best client, Clair (Kimberley Anne Gray) arrives to further confuse the issue…well, you just have to see it for yourself to see how it all turns out.  But, it is safe to say, that the machinations of love, laughter and…lingerie will succeed in winning the day.

DiSavino is by no means up to the standards of other comedy writers about NYC, such as Neil Simon or Woody Allen, but there is a gentle, albeit risqué, humor to the plot, sort of like Golden Girls meet Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  And the cast is easily up to the task of complimenting the story.  Rafkin plays the stereotypic, mature New York Jewish lady to a tee.  And McMullin as the befuddled cop, Schmidt as the unscrupulous deliverer and Gray as the important client, add to the fun.

Lane, usually behind the scenes in shows, is a welcome addition to the onstage personas.  She is appropriately upset, then baffled, then a partner in the proceedings….and she looks just fine in lingerie.  Littleton is great as the somewhat deaf, best friend.  Her comic delivery is some of the best in the show.  R. Harris gives us a typical, Archie Bunker type of character, all smoke with little fire and is fun to watch.  And Andersen, as the kooky visitor, is a hoot.  She adds an extra dimension to the liveliness when she arrives onstage.

Harris has done a good job of keeping the blocking fluid so that none of the scenes get static.  And she has chosen her cast well.  This is a new space for their theatre and it is very well put together.  It is neighborhood parking at present, so allow time for that.  Also the show would probably be PG-13 rated, so be aware of that, too.

I would recommend this show.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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