Encore Michigan

Weekend Comedy is a comedy of generational gap at Wilde Theatre

Review October 23, 2021 David Kiley

There is no doubt that there is tension between generations. Value are different. Experiences are different. Point sof view differ. That is at the core of ‘Weekend Comedy,” presented by A Wilde Theatre now through October 31.

Frank (Tony Amato) and Peggy (Terri Turpin-Amato) book a cottage in the country near a lake for a weekend getaway. They are a fifty-something couple that have settled into comfortable patterns, and need the spice of a weekend in new surroundings. Tony (Salvatore Sbrocca) and Jill (Cristian LaBar), a twenty-something unmarried couple, also booked the same cottage for the same weekend due to an error by the real-estate manager. Frank and Jill not only offer to have them stay, but even give them the bedroom with access to the only bathroom.

Frank is an old-school, self-made man, cranky, fussy…the kind of man who would wear sneakers in a public pool and trousers on a beach. Amato tackles his character with a rubbery face, full of sarcastic remarks and exasperation about his life and his beefs with the younger generation. Peggy is the patient, understanding, tolerant wife who is prone to zinging her beloved, apparently friendless husband.

Tony is a privileged, college-educated hunky self-aware type, with a man-bun, who can deflect Frank’s barbs. Jill occasionally takes Frank’s side and appreciates his old-school ways, but has her heart set on getting a marriage commitment from Tony.

The play, written by Sam Bobrick and Jeanne Bobrick, moves along at a good clip. Bobrick was a TV sitcom creator/writer (Saved By The Bell), and the play reflects the fast-pacing of a half hour TV show. One can almost imagine Bobrick and his wife struggling at times to mesh with actors and show-runners of younger generations as the inspiration.

Geoff Boyer and Susie Lindsay created a good set reflecting a typical, simple, un-fancy lake cottage, complete with familiar board games and well-worn kitchen bits and pieces. Kelsey Peavyhouse and Lynn Wilde-Concannon managed the props. Sandee Koski’s costumes are well done and well chosen, right down to Frank’s track suit. David Concannon designed lighting. Jay Simko is sound designer. Wilde-Concannon directs.

Editor’s Note: Vaxx cards or proof of clean Covid tests are not required at Wilde Theatre. Socially distanced seating was not done. Masks are required by the theatre, but several patrons disregarded the rule after the show began.

Week of 11/29/2021

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