Taconic Stage Company

Real Desperate Housewives www.GailSez.org

Carl Ritchie has trained the good people of Columbia County and vicinity to turn up at the Lighthouse Marina every summer for a nice dinner and an hilarious evening of theatre. I don’t live anywhere near Copake Lake, and I’m hooked! Something about arriving at that glorious lakeside on a warm summer’s evening just does it for me.

And so did this show. “The REAL (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County Musical!” (henceforth referred to as Housewives to save my poor fingertips all that typing) is even funnier than Ritchie’s 2009 Taconic Stage hit I Know I Came In Here for Something – which I understand is currently on the boards in Vegas! – and boasts a splendid cast of beautiful, talented women “of a certain age” – I like to call them “vintage,” like a good wine that improves with age – who can sing and deliver a gag with equal aplomb.

Ritchie has written a boffo script and lyrics and the ladies deliver the goods. Joanne Maurer has designed a parade of gorgeous outfits that range from refined to racy, with a little frumpy and silly thrown in for good measure...

Ritchie knows his actresses and has obviously tailored each role to the performer. Dooley is a stand out as the uber-bitchy, filthy rich Melody, and her over-the-top mannerisms make an easy target for Danny’s ridicule. Either Bollinger gets all the funniest material or she is the funniest actress of the lot, or both. Whenever she appears you are guaranteed a guffaw, especially in her odes to plastic surgery and, um, “plumber’s butt.”

Lee-Visscher turns on the charm and has them rolling in the aisles as she comes clean about her feelings for Johnny Depp and joins with Bollinger on a harangue about that impossible to eradicate invasive species, the City Folks...

Lopez and Weisman ... both look swell and sing sweetly. Lopez is a fine dancer, although she can’t get in too many fancy moves on the miniscule stage at the Marina. She puts all other middle-aged women to shame by appearing in bathing suit (In public, on stage, no less!) and looking both beautiful and happy. I was impressed!

Housewives ranks right up there with The Hound of the Baskervilles as one of the funniest shows of the season. Don’t let the remote (but beautiful!) lakeside location or the term “dinner theatre” scare you away. Find yourself a lively dinner date and go out and have a ball!

Gail Burns

(EXCERPTED - for full review go to www.GailSez.org )