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'Breaking Up' At Stage Door Sweetly Schmaltzy

Ah, Man, Ya Shoulda Bin There


Roger Martin ATCA

After 25 jubilant years Broward's Stage Door Theater is moving up the road apiece from Margate to the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, a red hot we got everything auditorium.

Leigh Green, Bruno Faria. Photo credit: George Wentzler.

Photographer:

Leigh Green, Bruno Faria. Photo credit: George Wentzler.

And as a farewell to the old farm, they're running that paean to the Catskills, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.” A lightly plotted revue of Neil Sedaka's 18 finest, set at Esther's Paradise Resort. All the schtick and sour cream in the world.

And the memories of long past youth in the hills swirl throughout the house.

A strong cast, strong actors, strong singers, deliver the schmalz and every piece is gold.

Trenton Bainbridge is Gabe Green, handyman with secrets.

Gail Byer is Esther Simowitz, whose Paradise is running out of money.

Bruno Faria is Del Delmonico, smart ass lead singer in the Paradise shows and boy, is he gonna get his.

Leigh Green is Lois Warner, I'm star bound so get out of my way.

Molly Anne Ross is Marge Gelman, left bereft at the altar and three guesses what happens to her.

And Michael H. Small is Harvey Feldman, resident comedian at the Paradise, master body flinger and gee, what do you think he and Esther get up to.

The songs? You have to ask?

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Lonely Nights, Where The Boys Are, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, The Diary, Stupid Cupid, Betty Grable, King of Clowns, Oh, Carol, Calendar Girl, Next Door To An Angel, Solitaire, Laughter In The Rain, My Friend, Stairway To Heaven, Little Devil, Love Will Keep Us Together.

Leigh Green, Bruno Faria, Molly Anne Ross, Trenton Bainbridge, Michael Small, Gail Byer. Photo credit: George Wentzler.

Photographer:

Leigh Green, Bruno Faria, Molly Anne Ross, Trenton Bainbridge, Michael Small, Gail Byer. Photo credit: George Wentzler.

Glory be, there's a live band. Paul Reekie piano and conductor, Sandy Poltarack guitar/bass, Roy Fantel drums/percussion. And here's carp #1: why is the on stage band wearing street clothes during the Paradise production numbers?

Directed and choreographed by Jonathan Van Dyke with costumes by Jerry Sturdefant, sound by Rushnay Henry and lighting by Ardean Landhuis. Caryl Fantel is the musical director.

The set design is by Ardean Landhuis and that brings up carp #2. It's a three part set. Stage right is a dressing room, center stage is the Paradise showroom, and stage left is an exterior exit area. All well built and realistic. Fine, but around 75 percent of the show is played stage right in the dressing room with some numbers moving eventually to center stage. The result? 75 percent of the audience are looking left for most of the show. I guess nobody sat house right during rehearsal.

“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” runs through August 12 at Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Road, Margate. 954-344-7765 https://www.stagedoorfl.org

 

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