Theatre Review

Broccoli's new satire has world premiere

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There is no question that Kevin Broccoli is a theatrical genius. A bit crazy, offbeat and eccentric for sure, but a genius when it comes to writing, producing, directing and acting.

Broccoli and his Epic Theatre Company is premiering his new play, “Dorothy, Rose, Sophia and Blanche,” at the Academy Players space in Providence, located at 180 Buttonhole Dr., Bldg. 2.

The play begins as a hilarious biting satire about reboots, remakes, spin-offs and storytelling, taking the audience on a whimsical journey into the world of TV sitcoms by parodying one of the classics, “The Golden Girls.”

The play opens with four women finding themselves in a reboot of the popular ’80s sitcom in an R-rated version of the squeaky clean show. At the end of the clever, funny scene, we discover that the women are actresses, thrown together by an overzealous director (Michael Shawcross). The director wants to drastically change the format by lowering the ages of the women and changing the plot.

Unfortunately, Broccoli pushes the envelope too far, confusing us at times with transitions that take time to figure out. And when the lights suddenly dim and you think the play has ended, we find ourselves watching a podcast where Mary V. Case is unable to control her guests, who want to talk about subjects she could care less about.

The scene ends. Is it over now? No, we have a prologue that lengthens the one-act play to an hour and three quarters.

Editing, an intermission or both are needed to bring the many elements together. Director Kate Lester has her hands full tying it all together. There’s some good material here, but it needs to be flushed out and reworked.

Bravo to Mary Paolino, Michelle Walker, Megan Ruggiero, Mary V. Case and Michael Shawcross, who all work hard with the dialogue and changing of characters.

“Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche” is at Epic Theatre, 180 Buttonhole Drive, Providence, through August 18 in repertory with the previously reviewed “3C.” Call 368-7689 for reservations, directions and information. Seats are $20, $15 for seniors.

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