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Audience Comments
Here is a note from our friend, Seth who has been to four shows.  Next are a couple of excerpts from the Foolsguild folks who came.  I wanted to share them.  The first is Cat Avery from Redway, the second Greg Dana from Japan.
"Great show! Your best yet! Everything worked well and some bits worked even better. Kudos!"
"All day on Sunday the two girls (fourteen) were repeating lines from the *Tutti Frutti* show.  It is no joke about the energy of this age turning the axis of the world.  The level of energy they can sustain is tremendous.  The next show is in March and I know that they want to go again.  The vitality and energy of the show was really exciting, Jeffrey Weissman was an engaging convivial Pulchinella, the Harlequino and Columbina had a tender pointed patter regarding the relations of the sexes and the audience was deftly pulled into the show.  It was really fun to see Grego and John Bird and Ezra.  The Purple Onion is a really nice venue for this sort of theatre, intimate and lighthearted.  Next time the show will be at eight instead of nine-thirty and I assure I was more releieved about the time change than the girls were"
"The Chinatown revelers cavorting in the streets like headless chickens, while every bit as foolish as ourselves,  were certainly oblivious to the fact that Mammamia was in the basement mixin’ up the medicine. The literally underground Purple Onion didn’t actually smell of garlic, but was nonetheless busting with lfavor just as much as the eatery upstairs. Pretty much exactly the venue yøu’d want if you were doing a comedia any place other than Italy or the Shire. Tutti Frutti rocked my noggin. I swear that like the tradition they embody, Jim and Marilyn will never get old, and Jeffrey proved once again that there really is no such thing as
“X” for our rexes."

Press Reviews

September 1991
Commedia on Broadway!
 The most fun I've had at the theater since...since I don't know, when, but quite a while.  Currently appearing at North Beach's wonderful On Broadway Theater is a troupe of crass and crazy commedia players.  Commedia on Broadway is every bit as wacky as Beach Blanket Babylon (but not as expensive).
 Get there a little early because the show starts in the lobby.  Two exotically-garbed, strolling, string-plucking mandolin players (Jody Veahman-Segal and Misha Segal-Veahman) dole out bittersweet melodies.  Meanwhile passionate Italianate actors heartily greet the audience as either "Giovanni!" or "Sylvia!" (depending on one's sex).
 True to the centuries-old tradition of Italian commedia, the players wear colorful character-illuminating costumes (beautifully crafted by the cast) and masks (constructed by actor/artist/writer James Letchworth).  They perform in a broad, bold style and revel in raunchy humor.  The stock characters include meddlesome servants (male and female), the rich-yet-cheap Pantalone, a pair of young lovers, the swaggering Capitano, and a befuddled Dottore.  The ensemble for the production is superb!
 Act I is a rowdy, bawdy Italianate version of Romeo and Juliet complete with happy ending and musical accompaniment.  Though slow to start (a little to cliche), the action soon charges forward with one surprise after another.  As Pantalone pulls on his low-hanging money bag, his daughter sneaks out to see her lover.  By nightfall confusion and slapstick reign.
 Act II demands heavy audience participation, as the head-strong Columbina (Marilyn Prince) coerces six viewers onto the stage.  Terminally shy people might want to shy away from this one!  The rest of us provide sound effects and encourage as a bawdy Italianate rewrite of The Fantasticks soon unfolds.  Absolutely delightful!
 Director Jeanne Thomas combines wondrous stage pictures with a quick pace.  Also aiding and abetting in the breakneck speed is a clever lighting design by director Thomas and Paul Scherman.
 Oh!  By the way, the On Broadway Theater comes complete with a full-service bar.  Consider requesting the "Nectar of Zeus."  Isabella proclaims in Act I, "It tastes good too!"  Speaking of which, Commedia on Broadway! might not always be in good taste, but it definitely tastes good to an entertainment-starved theater-going palate.
             - Tom Kelly
 Commedia on Broadway! at the On Broadway Theater, Mondays and Tuesdays until September 17. $10