I understand there were cast changes late in the game and some performers are relatively inexperienced. This new venue offers great opportunities for newcomers to have fun and test their acting wings. Show director and Downeaster Artistic Director Kathryn Willis also played a small role and was one of the bright spots in her performance as the impostor daughter, Louisa.
Mistaken identities of daughters and valises abounded as New York gangster Benito “Benny” Bellarosa tried to “go straight” in 1933 after prohibition - straight into banking… with perhaps the moral of the story that banking is yet another racket? Leo Poroshin played this gangster father with some gravitas and humor, but lacked the pacing and energy to drive the needed momentum.
Bright spots were Bobby Maldonado as henchman Spats Spinelli, Rikki Perez as the bimbo daughter willing to marry just about anyone to get out of the house, and Rebecca Hager as Benny’s frantic/exasperated wife, Bella. Kris Vitols was notable for his very Italian accent as the tailor and his later transformation into a nun.
Ring Around Rosalie continues next Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2. The Downeaster has converted a former church at 1120 North Pennsylvania into a working theatre with programs for youth as well as adults. Tickets are available at the door or at http://www.thedowneastertheatre.com