Carol Tyree-Williams and Rick O’Daniel Munger in Spreading It Around.
Spreading It Around
By Londos D’ Arrigo
Directed by Clyde Tyrone Harper
Review by Keith Waits.
Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.
Senior members of American society face a great many challenges, but if we were to express it in one word, it all comes down to independence. Spreading It Around is a fairly conventional, middle-of-the-road comedy that is distinguished by its feisty heroine and her singular approach to her situation.
Angie Drayton (Carol Tyree-Williams) lives in a fashionable, gated, retirement community in Florida, and enjoys the friendship of the recently widowed Martin Wheeler (Rick O’ Daniel-Munger). Both are well off financially and hatch a plan to form a philanthropic foundation to assist the less fortunate. It proves energizing and profoundly worthwhile, giving their lives renewed purpose.
But Angie’s son Larry (Patrick Alred) and his wife Tori (Caroline Ruark) arrive for an unannounced, week long stay, panicked that she is giving away their inheritance, and quickly hatch a half-baked plan to have Angie declared financially incompetent by a psychiatrist (Douglas Wolfe) so they can get control of her wealth for themselves.
It not only is an intrusion by two selfish and unpleasant characters, but a particularly scurrilous attack on a family member that sets up the play’s best scene, which I have no intention of giving away. Suffice it to say a comeuppance is due. It is undeniably satisfying, but also utterly contrived.
Spreading It Around is a genial comedy with an abundance of the least inoffensive double entendre that you can imagine, but there is little edge except for the extremely one-dimensional and over-calculated villainy of Larry and Tori. What it does have is a forceful expression of an older woman’s commitment to her own mind, no matter the cost. It is a sentiment that is likely to play well to Bunbury’s signature audience, for the most part mature enough to be confronting these issues for themselves in role or the other, although hardly in such lighthearted fashion.
Carol Tyree-Williams owns the stage as Angie, carrying the weight of the story with an easy authority and sharp timing. Rick O’Daniel-Munger provides an able companion, matching Tyree-Williams move-for-move in a solid partnership. If Patrick Alred and Caroline Ruark make far less impact, it is as much about the limitations of characters written to be little more than calculated plot devices than any lack of quality in the performance. Douglas Wolfe delivers a fine turn as the psychiatrist, Dr. Krapinsky.
If this play just manages to rise above the ordinary, it is still given the customary Bunbury polish. Shelly Hicklin’s set design serves the script with flavor and efficiency, and director Clyde Tyrone Harper sets a good pace for his well-chosen, hard working cast.
Spreading It Around
October 10 -26, 2014
For Tickets go to bunburytheatre.com
Bunbury Theatre Company at
The Henry Clay Theatre
604 South Third Street
[box_light]Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at the Louisville Visual Art Association during the days, including being one of the hosts of PUBLIC on ARTxFM, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for Arts-Louisville.com[/box_light]