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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Memories 'Spreads it Around'

No Bull at Port Washington's Dinner Theater

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­­"Money! Like manure, you've got to spread it around to make things grow!"

Does that sound like Washington D.C.'s philosophy for the past two or three years? Or decades for that matter?

Actually, Spreading it Around is a delightful "serio-comedy" being offered by Memories Dinner Theater just outside Port Washington, an easy half-hour sprint north from downtown Milwaukee via Highway 43.

The rich, "truthful agricultural" metaphor (and who should know better than we Wisconsinites?) arrives in the form of a brochure to one Angie Drayton (Pat Forkner), senior retiree moved to Florida. There may be snow on her roof but her brain and soul underneath are not frozen. Together with widower-neighbor Martin Wheeler (Jim Jacques), Angie constructs the Drayton-Wheeler Foundation for Giving.

Meanwhile, up north, sonny-boy Larry (Kevin Horne) and his wife Traci (Lynn Klemm) are shocked by the big drop in Mom's stock portfolio ("Her money, yes; but our inheritance.") A quick, unannounced plane flight (without the kids) seems the most appropriate action to discover just "What the hell is going on?" This is the serious part of serio-comic designation.

The work of Canadian playwright Landos D'Arrigo has rarely—if ever—been produced here in Milwaukee or its nearby environs to the best of my knowledge. This makes Memories' production of Spreading it Around something of an exclusive premiere of both author and his serio-comedy. Milwaukee director Rolland Roebuck has gathered a fine cast to expose D'Arrigo's slant on the matter. Only Ralph Mafongelli's name as psychiatrist Dr. Krapinski is omitted above.

You may not agree with D'Arrigo's resolution but you won't leave the theater "sitting on the 'fertilized' fence." Besides, there's always that delicious, blue-ribbon, broasted chicken and special dessert, the latter created expressly for you, and served during intermission.

The production runs April 8-17.
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