|Two Gentlemen Of Corona|
REVIEW by Willard Manus
The two gentlemen
in question are Joey Brocco (Adrian R'Mante) and Carmine Fabiano (Chris
Damiano), low-level Queens mafiosi who are assigned by their capo, John
Esposito (Sam Ingraffia), to oversee souvenir sales at the 1964 World's
Fair. It's the chance of a lifetime for these young hoods, whose experience
until now has been restricted to jukebox maintenance and cigarette smuggling
(with a wee bit of homicide on the side).
Playwright Jim Geoghan satirizes the mafia's foibles deftly and wittily in TWO GENTLEMEN OF CORONA, which at its heart is a love story, thanks to the passionate feelings Joey and Angelina begin to evince for each other. Carmine and Phil try to talk sense to Joey, but he's too smitten to heed their advice.
Blood on the walls seems to be the inevitable result of this dangerous liason, but Geoghan has a few tricks up his sleeve and manages to keep the comedy going, in a satisfying and even touching way. He's helped immensely by his director, Henry Polic II, and by his superb cast, all of whom (joined by Michael Zemenick as a fat, fearful souvenir salesman) deliver note-perfect performances.
At the West Coast Ensemble Theatre, 522 N. LaBrea Ave. Call (323) 525-0022 or visit wcensemble.org