September 22, 2014
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’Spirited ‘Spreading It Around’ at Newport Playhouse
Don Fowler

Londros D’Arrigo’s spirited “Spreading It Around” is filling the seats, mostly with senior citizens, at Matt Siravo’s Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant in Newport. The comedy is light, saucy and rapid fire, thanks to some good-acting five local pros.

A wealthy widow in a Florida retirement community resents her children fighting for her money, so Angie and her widowed neighbor, Martin, establish S.I.N (Spending It Now) and start giving it away to needy people. Her greedy son and his shopaholic wife pay a visit and try to stop her by hiring a psychologist to declare her incompetent. Angie may be getting along in years, but she’s sharp enough to outwit her nitwit son, and all’s well that ends well in this hilarious comedy.

And wait until you see the surprise ending that fools everyone!

This is not Shakespeare, folks, but the actors are first rate and the direction by John Ricci keeps the one-act play moving at a swift pace.

Sandra Nicastro, who plays Angie, is a natural born comedian. She can milk a joke (and there are many) for all it’s worth. She has been acting at the playhouse for 23 years and is a local favorite.

Ralph Stokes, a former Cranstonian, and an actor and director for even longer than that, plays her neighbor, Martin. Stokes plays off Nicastro with perfect comic timing, allowing her the majority of punch lines and getting great audience reaction from his reactions to her.

Cathy Ray makes her Rhode Island theatrical debut as the daughter-in-law. You may remember her as a local news anchor before she went off to act in movies, TV and on stage in New York. She won Best Actress for her performance as Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in Western New York. She plays the daughter-in-law from Hell, and she’s so good at it that you want to boo her off the stage.

Jonathan King, a five-year veteran and cabaret favorite, is also good as Angie’s greedy son.

Rounding out the cast is Warwick’s Tony Annicone in a smaller role as Dr. Krapinsky, who provides the pivotal role in the play.

Annicone is well known around Rhode Island for his 35 years of acting, directing, reviewing and mentoring many young actors. He first appeared at Newport Playhouse in 1984.

The Newport Playhouse has been presenting this type of silliness for 30 years, attracting bus tours, groups and just friends having a fun night, or afternoon, out.

“Spreading It Around” is at the Newport Plahouse through May 25. A gigantic, tasty buffet, plus the play and cabaret afterwards, is a good buy at $49.95.

Call 848-7529 for reservations and directions (right around the rotary from Newport Grand).


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