The roaring laughter filled The North Fork Community Theatre during the production of Ripcord, a comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire. This show is perhaps the funniest show I have ever reviewed. Please find your way to Mattituck to see it. I guarantee you will have a “best time.” The show is directed by Robert Horn, with Stephen Ness assistant directing; Dee Andes did an excellent job as costume consultant, as did set designer Robert Horn. The set construction is by The Tuesday Crew with stage management by Jeanne Arnold. Producer Kim Cappiello has assembled a phenomenal team that has made this production a success and winner.
The plot centers around two roommates at a nursing facility and a bet they make to change how they are living with each other at the facility. One wants the room to herself, the other the bed by the window. What ensues is pure comedy that had the audience actually cheering, applauding, and laughing from the opening lines.
This NFCT production of Ripcord features Linda Pentz as Marilyn Dunne. Ms. Pentz owns the stage, her facial expressions, movements and physical comedy energy are highlighted along with her sense of timing and stage presence. Her chemistry with co-star Dee Martin as Abby Binder, is spellbinding. Dee Martin is awesome in her role, too. Her dry delivery of her lines and eye rolls are perfection. She counters Linda Pentz’s energy with the reserve of a seasoned pro who knows how to bring a character to life under the bright lights of a live stage performance.
Mark Ahrens as Scott, the kind and diligent employee of the nursing home effort, is as perfect and effective as Jack McBrayer’s Kenneth, of the hit 30 Rock. Great timing with an array of punctuating one liners, the audience loved him from the moment he walked onto the stage.
Gillian Schroeder as Colleen and woman in white is excellent with positive energy, smiles and clear delivery of her lines. Also impressive is Eileen Blydenburgh as Denise and zombie butler. She was a force in her roles. I am a fan of Michael Horn for many years. He plays three roles — Benjamin, Lewis, and the clown. Michael Horn is a big talent. He has the voice, the demeanor and the panache to add to any show he participates in.
The Video Wall Design work of both Robert Taylor and Ernesto Sosa, especially during the parachute scene, is as good as it gets. It actually received applause from the astute NFCT crowd.
I strongly recommend you get to see this extremely entertaining show. It is that good. It is well beyond the expectations of community theater. In fact, it is actual “Tony Award” quality for a reproduced comedy! The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through February 5. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at nfct.com or by clicking here.