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Flamingo Court

Jamie Farr and Anita Gillette star in this witless evening of one-acts.

Anita Gillette and Jamie Farr
in Flamingo Court
(© Carol Rosegg)
When the pre-show announcement for Luigi Creatore's Flamingo Court asks audience members to turn off their cell phones and turn on their hearing aids, you get a good idea of what you're in for. And once you discover from his bio that these three witless one-acts, now at New World Stages, grew out of his "writing about the Florida scene for the Boca Raton Community Theater," you know more than you need. Still, this show may play better at Florida venues catering to the retirement population and their light-hearted and heavy-hearted concerns about aging than here.

The venture takes place in "a three-story apartment complex in South Florida," where the flats are stacked one on another and are the same set designed by James Youmans for quick furniture and accessory changes but not with an overwhelming sense of aesthetics.

The occupant of "Angelina" is a woman (Anita Gillette) claiming to have a sick husband stashed in her bedroom. The true status of that never-seen spouse changes during a couple of frenzied visits from neighbors Dominic (Jamie Farr) -- who has a soft spot in his heart for Angelina -- and caustic Marie (Lucy Martin). Creatore's concern here is late love and whether it can bloom when Angelina has indulged in some severe mendacity and Dominic -- who would like to get rid of Frank however he can -- has declared his aversion to such a practice.

The second skit, "Clara," has Farr and Gillette portraying long-married couple Arthur and Clara in the hours before she is to be taken to a home because he can no longer care for her. For this one, Gillette wears a white wig, Farr keeps his own silver hair from act one (and life) and Creatore loses his grip on reality. The playwright imagines that though Clara's short-term memory is shot, she remembers that that couple had promised -- were either of them to become incapacitated -- to take more drastic measures than an assisted-living facility.

In "Harry," the final skit, Farr, still white-haired but taking smaller and herky-jerkier steps, is an 89-year-old with two late-life goals. The first is to hire a hooker, who turns out to be the less-than-young Chi Chi La Boo Boo (Gillette), wearing costume designer Carol Sherry's form-fitting lame Capri pants and revealing top. Harry's second dilemma is getting rid of inheritance-hungry daughter Charity (Martin) and colluding hubby Walter (Joe Vincent), an outcome that hinges on flatulence. None of this -- nor any of the witless proceedings in the previous two routines -- seems to embarrass director Steven Yuhasz or the actors. The audience may have their own take.


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