Hungry for Humor? Try Bread and Butter at the Harbor Stage Company!
It’s a truism that there’s no business like show business—and it’s a Cape Cod truism that the Harbor Stage Company puts on some of the best shows around. That’s certainly the case with the current offering, loosely adapted from George S. Kaufman’s 1925 The Butter and Egg Man. If you want a laughter-filled antidote to the seriousness of the news and the world, this is most definitely it!
Following in Kaufman’s footsteps, playwright and actor (and Harbor Stage founding member) Brenda Withers delivers a sharply witty, occasionally slapstick, and invariably entertaining 90 minutes of delight with Bread and Butter.
Withers delivers a star performance as Mac, a budding playwright working as assistant to producer Becker (David Fraioli), who’s produced “one Broadway catastrophe after another” and needs a hit play to stay in business. Enter innocent midwesterner Peter Jones (Robin Bloodworth) with money to invest, and with the promise that her play will be produced, Mac helps Becker inveigle him into putting the money into a Broadway dream. The play opens in Syracuse, and collapses thanks to not-so-subtle rewrites by Jones and leading lady Francesca O’Toole (Arnie Lytle). But when Jones and O’Toole, accompanied by current hotelier and wannabe producer Fritchie (Ari Lew) return it to New York, it’s fair to say a mild amount of chaos ensues.
The set by Evan Farley is cartoonish-creative, the costumes are appropriate, and the acting is superb—wonderfully and appropriately over the top. All the actors are Harbor Stage veterans, and Fraioli is particularly delicious as the conscience-free Becker. The dialogue is filled with silliness (“Children’s hospital? We may be country folk, but we’d never let children run a hospital!”) and sometimes with something more serious (“Art isn’t free—we don’t call it show-show, we call it show-business!”).
Bread and Butter is lighthearted, quick-witted, moving, and a great deal of fun. Go spend an evening with the Harbor Stage Company—as always, you’ll come away delighted.
Photos courtesy Edward Boches