bermuda

Bermuda Triangle – Renee Taylor/Joe Bologna

Okay, Bermuda Avenue Triangle is cute. Often it is even funny, but great theater? Fresh or original? No. Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna and Lainie Kazan are an old fashioned group in an old fashioned vehicle. A string of comedy club-like one liners where, surprisingly, the star cast has flubs and falters on timing. This is after having played for months in Los Angeles, then traveling to (off) Broadway where it was a commercial success even if not adored by critics.

Co-author Renee Taylor plays Fannie Saperstein a stereotypic, zaftig, Jewish mother serving love on a platter of guilt.She and her friend, Tess LaRuffa (Lainie Kazan), are moving into a Las Vegas retirement community condo purchased by their approval-seeking daughters to give the two widows a chance to enjoy life.Tess is a tough talking Italian battleaxe, carting statues of Mary and Jesus and believing herself to have lived under a curse for forty years and this condo is no exception.Enjoy? Hah, these two New York ladies have a standing competition as to who has had the more miserable life or marriage, angry Tess, or weeping Fannie.Neither will concede the possibility of happiness.They do not even concede they are friends: “Okay, we shop together.”

And so it goes. That is until they are convinced by the Bermuda shorts clad rabbi (Manny Kleinmuntz), Welcome Wagon member of the condo board, to join the community “nature expedition.” Tess and Fannie wander off from the group and are saved from a mugging by smarmy Johnny Paolucci (co-author Joe Bologna) who recognizes opportunity when he sees it.Triangle? Manage a trois? Whatever, by shameless flattery he moves in with them and transforms each of them, in secret from each other, and against their will, from their self-centered misery into a sex loving parody of giddy happiness and himself into a man with money for gambling and a roof over his head.With one exception, after about two and a half hours, everyone lives and loves happily ever after.Or something like that.

While Kazan missed lines and Bologna took a casual approach to comic timing, Kleinmuntz stood out as the kind of guy who would think being on a condo board was an important position;his deadpan complimented Taylor’s slapstick clicheact and between the two widows he looked like Jack Spratt, even if neither was his wife.Bologna, Taylor and Kleinmuntz have been performing Bermuda Avenue from the beginning.Yet only the latter two seemed well rehearsed.

What may be worth the price of admissionare the sexy getups the widows start sporting after being seduced by Johnnieand shedding their housecoat level attire.They are in Fredrick of Hollywoodout of Lane Bryant, size extra large. Kazan wears her skin tight outfit and multi colored cape by Devon Renee Anderson with the assurance of an old time movie star and Taylor minces around the stage in a white showgirl get up by Gail Cooper-Hecht looking like a 5’2” puffed up marshmallow.Irresistible.

The largely senior citizen audience roared at the one liners and quite a few were funny. However, renting a video something like The Odd Couple or Bananas might be a lot more satisfying.

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Los Angeles, CA
Weinstein is a clinical psychologist who teaches in the medical school at UCLA. She also holds a master's degree in Urban Studies and has a strong interest in history and architecture, as well as the theater.