Tony Annicone has been active as both an actor and a director in Rhode Island for over 33 years, 28 of them at the Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant. He has also directed 111 plays and written over a thousand theatre reviews. His first performance at Newport Playhouse was in 1984 in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
Tony is now appearing as Don Giovano, The Don of a most dysfunctional mob family, in “Death of a Don” by Ronald Myroup, a silly, over-the-top spoof of the Mafia that is filled with crazy characters and more than a dozen groaners. The one-act comedy runs a bit under two hours and drags a bit after The Don is murdered and the family tries to figure out whodunit.
The Don is not a very likeable character; in fact, every family member has his or her reasons for killing him.
One son wants to be a poet. Another has a crazy idea for expanding the family “business.” One daughter wants to take charge of the operation, while the other wants to be a singer. Add a mistress and a beau named One-Eyed Joe to the list. The Don stifles them all at every turn.
Kevin Flynn, in his first performance at Newport, plays the daughter, Baby, in drag. Flynn is a very big man, barely making it under the doorsill and filling the couch with his/her huge body. A number of outlandish costumes are a credit to an unnamed costume designer.
The non-equity company has a few rough edges that will be worked out during the production’s long run through May 6, but the audience had many opportunities to laugh out loud at the outrageous antics.
Camille Terilli of Warwick and Jessica Grossman of Cranston also star in the production.
The plays at Newport Playhouse bear no resemblance to Shakespeare or Arthur Miller, but Producer Matt Siravo has found a formula that has packed his theatre consistently for all these years. Give them good bar drinks, a hefty and hearty buffet, a few laughs, and a cabaret following the play, and they’ll go home happy. The complete package (minus the bar) will cost you $49.95. There are group rates and special evenings (baked stuffed shrimp on Saturdays and holiday specials). For reservations call 848-PLAY. They are located around the rotary from Newport Grand.