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#PickoftheWeek | New play reveals family secrets and humor
There’s nothing like family drama.
Queens Theatre opens its 29th season with the world premiere of the true-to-life comedy Jimmy and Carolyn from Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 1.
The play’s namesakes — Jimmy, a retired auto body repairman, and his homemaker wife, Carolyn — drive from Florida to an idyllic town in coastal Rhode Island to celebrate Jimmy’s birthday at the fancy beach house of their gay son, James, and his life partner, William, a landscaper from Costa Rica.
First come the pepperoni loaf, Italian cookies, Pinot Grigio, and cigarettes. The conversation explodes with laughter. Then come dark truths as this modern family rehashes painful memories and struggles to move forward.
Jimmy and Carolyn was written by James Andrew Walsh, an actor whose national tour credits include Ragtime and They’re Playing Our Song. His television credits include Law & Order (SVU and Criminal Intent), The Family, Taxi Brooklyn, and Shine. He co-wrote the Broadway-bound Liberace bio-musical, All That Glitters. The play is directed by Brooke Ciardelli, who founded the regional theater Northern Stage in Vermont. This is her 61st production and her ninth world premiere as a director.
The cast includes Lisa Harrow, whose stage career started at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, as Carolyn. She won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress for her performance in Last Days at Chez Nous. Brad Bradley, a Broadway veteran whose credits include Billy Elliot, the original cast of Spamalot, and the revival of Annie Get Your Gun, gives life to James. Luis Carlos de La Lombana, who has won three ATI Awards, three HOLA Awards, and three ACE Awards, is William. And finally, Sam Tsoutsouvas — who has appeared on Broadway multiple times, has a guest role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and appears as the voice of a talk radio host in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – takes on the role of Jimmy.
Tickets are $18. Queens Theatre presents 12 performances with the following schedule.
- Fridays: Sept. 15, 22, and 29 at 8 pm;
- Saturdays: Sept. 16 at 2 pm and 8 pm as well as Sept. 23 at 2 pm and Sept. 30 at 2 pm and 7 pm;
- Sundays: Sept. 17 and 24 at 3 pm and Oct. 1 at 5 pm;
- Thursday: Sept. 28 at 8 pm.
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Images: Queens Theatre