Wednesday, April 14, 2010


                                     ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

                                               BY IRV RIKON


The press release from FLORIDA STAGE in Manalapan reads "DR. RADIO, A Completely Original New Musical From the Directors of Cagney and Some Kind of Wonderful," two of last season's big hits. And it's true. Collaborators Christopher McGovern and Bill Castallino have created a sweet, enchanting musical play that cannot be pigeonholed into any category and defies easy description. To be sure, there is a love story of sorts, a singing psychic and a guy who springs up in the air every now and then, but in this tale, that's life.

The one-act play is set on Cannon Street, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The time is transitional. Radio is still king and is personified by Benjamin Weitz, a radio repairman otherwise known as Dr. Radio. But television is coming of age, and coming to Cannon Street is Kate Cuorecantare, who is planning to sell TV sets right next door to Dr. Radio's store. Then there's Peggy McAdams, bent on finding the gold she suspects old Mrs. McKeever left when she passed away, and of course that's to be found somewhere on Cannon Street. There's also Rudolpho Garcia, the guy who springs up in the air and chaperones Peggy when he's not leaping. Finally, the psychic, Madame Agnieska Pilchowa,

may not know all, but she breaks into song and dance whenever the opportunity presents itself, which is often. I told you, this doesn't fit into any category!

Despite that, Dr. Radio is such a fun play, one gets caught up with the characters and their screwball situations (as in a 1930s, early 1940s motion picture "screwball comedy".) Bill Castellino, who wrote the book, also expertly directs and choreographs. The one big dance number is sheer delight to watch, yet everything just moves captivatingly along. His partner, Christopher McGovern, wrote the music and lyrics, while also serving as musical director. For the record, orchestrations were handled by Glen Rovinelli.

The cast is marvelous. Wayne LeGette, who is Dr. Radio, returns to Florida Stage. Between visits, he's won several Carbonell Awards, and it's good to have him back. He has a wonderful singing voice. Margot Moreland, another multiple Carbonell Award winner, makes her Florida Stage debut as a persuasive television salesperson. Irene Adjan has three times won a Carbonell, and she demonstrates her golden talents here. Nick Duckart apparently has not yet won a Carbonell, but he will. One can't help but love him as Rudolpho. Finally, Elizabeth Dimon. If you attend local theater, you've seen her. Earlier in the season, she appeared in Palm Beach Dramaworks' production of Copenhagen. Not only does she have a host of Carbonells, she almost steals this show as the psychic.

In a season which has brought us a number of really good, even memorable musicals, here's another one to see. It's different from the all the rest, and that's a genuine part of its charm. Closing date is May 2.

FLORIDA STAGE moves to the Kravis Center beginning July 15, when previews commence for another brand-new musical entitled Low Down Dirty Blues. Closing date on that one will be September 5. For tickets and additional information telephone 585-3433 or online:

                                                            - 30 -

No comments:

Blog Archive