Mill River Dinner Theater
Reviewed by Don Gillis, April 25, 2003
Alone Together, a Broadway hit in 1984 written by Lawrence Roman, is Mill River Dinner Theater's latest production telling the story of a middle-aged couple whose children have finally left the nest to be on their own. They are alone together at last - BUT not for long. All three sons come charging back home after experiencing some hard knocks in the real world and Mom and Dad have quite a time pushing them out again.
This clever script is as poignant today as it was back in 1984 when it played on Broadway. Darlene Mixer (Helene) and Bill McMillan (George) team up once again - this time as the middle-aged couple whom are looking forward to being alone together. The youngest of the three sons, Keith, played by John McMillan, is leaving for college. His brothers, Michael , played by Brian Lemieux, and Elliott played by Kenneth Koury are already on their own. But just as the youngest leaves, the eldest son, Michael, a math genius at MIT in Boston has decided that this was the wrong choice for him and comes home discreetly entering the house without his mother and father's knowledge.
When they discover him - it's quite a shock as they are in a most embarrassing position on the floor behind the couch. Its a laugh riot! Brian takes over his old room much to his parents dismay, and then the fun begins! His scene with his father in the end is a real tear jerker - Brian actually had real tears running down his face, as he admits that is he afraid to go out again into the world. Bill McMillan was excellent as the father who had to tell his children that they no longer were welcome. Darlene Mixer, the harried wife and mother gives a tour-de-force performance in a very demanding role. Her speech when she has "had" it and tells everyone off is outstanding acting .
Kenneth Koury, as Elliott, the married son, gets kicked out of his house in Texas because he has been cheating on his wife. He comes charging home to his parents and retrieves his old room. Kenneth plays the Texan with a cocky attitude toward life, and is somewhat in love with himself. He portrays the role well. with a suave presence .We now have two sons home, and we could now call this show "Adult Dependents" !! The entire cast bond together to make this one of the best ensemble performances.
The interplay between the brothers and parent are what makes this show most interesting. If you have children around these ages 28-35 then you will probably relate to this very funny situation comedy. I know I was amused all evening with the realization that my life was passing before me. I have to admit that this play hit home in lots of ways. Even if you do not have children, you can sympathize with Helene and George. The couple that we sat with had children that were younger, and it was amusing for them ( I think it was educational also!)
Sara Dandurand plays the role of Janie the girlfriend that visits - with both sons vying for her attention. At first, we think she is a bimbo, but after a talk with Helene (who likes her), we find out she has decided that all men are looking for just one thing, and has become chaste, much to the younger boys distress - especially Elliott who is a real hound!
Alone Together has an excellent cast, with timing just right, and the execution of those one liners was priceless. One of them that Darlene utters to her husband about the boys was "When they are little you just want to eat them up - when they get older you wish you had!".
Lighting and Sound by Eric Desnoyers was well executed and timely. Eric has come a long way in the last few years. A much determined and talented young man, he stage managed my production of Wally's Cafe for The Pawtucket Community Players last June and did an excellent job!. An excellent actor- singer, I am sure this young man will be on the theater circuit for quite some time.
Stage Manager Heather Carey kept the flow going. There were many costume changes and along with Sylvia Witchsi and Marcia PetitBon the production gelled.
Director, Chuck Petitbon has another smash hit on his hands in this very intimate little theater. Good company, good food, good theater. This is definitely a show not to be missed - it's truly a gem. Ever hear of Tough Love? This is it! Go see this marvelous production! Reservations are required. Call (401) 721-0909.
ALONE TOGETHER (April 25 - May 25, 2003)
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Little Rhody Theater
Mill River Dinner
The Place for Great Dinnertainment
499 High Street
Central Falls, RI