"Bed, Breakfast and Broadway" Offers Entertaining Romp, Surprises

Play at Lake Wales Little Theatre Runs Through February 4

 

Last updated 1/20/2024 at 9:28am

LaVaughn Williamson

Olivia O'Brian, played by Natasha Ridgeley Pinzas, attempts to calm her excitable husband, the outraged Pat O'Brian, played by Brad Breaux, as he reacts to hearing John Cunningham planning to betray his wife, not realizing that he's overheard actors rehearsing a scene.

The guiding axiom of theatre is "the show must go on," and that's exactly the spirit exhibited by the resilient troupe of actors at Lake Wales Little Theatre as they present "Bed, Breakfast, and Broadway" at their intimate playhouse at 411 North Third Street.

Described as a show within a show within a show, the play starts out as a situation comedy, and evolves into a farcical romp as mistaken identities and creative twists are tossed into the mix.

Director Nicholas Bique, a stage veteran, earns commendation for dealing with the loss of an actor just before the show opened, filling the role of the lethargic and hard-drinking, washed-up Broadway actor Fred Atkins, who resides long-term at the Enchanting Dreams bed and breakfast and seems to channel Jack Nicholson.

When famed Broadway producer Patrick Oliver Bryant, portrayed by veteran actor Jamie Clark, makes a reservation to stay at the B&B, the news sends shivers of excitement through an erstwhile group of amateur actors who are prepared to perform their own show there. That excitement is especially intense for the establishment's owner and would-be playwright, Marge Cunningham, played by Kaytlyn 'KK' Parker, and her husband John, played by Curtis Rodriguez.

Despite being sworn to secrecy about the visit, Marge immediately shares the big news with the rest of the cast, including the love-hate couple Jack and Sally, portrayed by Roman Shano and Abigail Fish, in her stage debut.

When another couple with similar names arrives unexpectedly, Pat and Olivia O'Brian, played by Brad Breaux and Natasha Ridgeley, they are immediately assumed to be the producer and his wife using fake names, leading to several farcical situations.

LaVaughn Williamson

Jack Hudson, played by Roman Shano, rehearses a scene for their big production at the bed and breakfast with Sally Hendrickson, played by Abigail Fish.

Bique used the opportunity of the fictional production to add a musical interlude, with characters and other theatre veterans, including Faith Schroder and Elijah Lewis, performing hits from Broadway and Motown. The segment included a very funny portrayal of the "Young Frankenstein" version of "Putting on the Ritz" sung by Casey Gist with Bique as the monster, while Bique's own performance of Mack the Knife seemed to be a particular crowd pleaser.

The play, written by by Daleske and Reese, runs for three weekends, with Friday and Saturday evening performances starting at 7:30, and Sunday matinees at 2:00. Reserved seat tickets are available from the theatre's website at LWLT.org.

The non-profit, all-volunteer theatre company is in constant need of community support, as evidenced by the need for the singers to share a single stage microphone.

 

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