Wednesday, January 11, 2017

reviews - COOKING WITH THE CALAMARI SISTERS - Herberger Theatre Center

Stephen Smith and Jay Falzone
photo courtesy the Calamari Sisters
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through January 29th.

".The fun and frothy Cooking With the Calamari Sisters is a witty spoof of local cable TV cooking shows with large doses of improv and musical comedy ladled on top. This show has played in various theaters across the country and comes to Phoenix for a month long run in a fairly simple production that features two of the show's creators as the lovable sisters. The end result is delicious....Brooklyn born, raised and based Delphine and Carmela Calamari have a New York public access TV cooking show and they have come to Phoenix to share their love of cooking with their fans. Throughout the fast-paced 90-minute show the two sisters will squabble, sing, swear and satiate the audience with the wonders of Italian cuisine as they prepare a three course Italian dinner. They'll also bring up several audience members to help with their cooking demonstration or to serve as contestants in a fast-paced contest. The real fun of the show is that Carmela and Delphine are portrayed by Smith and Falzone in drag. They are both gifted comics with impeccable improvisation skills and also deliver some zany and inspired musical numbers. ...there isn't much of a set, which is a slight detriment to the show, but fortunately the loud and colorful costumes and a few zany props provide plenty of inspiration throughout. Falzone, Smith and Lavender have crafted a fun conceit of a show with two lovable characters and plenty of wacky dialogue and fun spoofy lyrics to well-known Italian songs. Having two of the creators play the sisters for this local stop on the tour makes this a laugh out loud funny affair and a rip roaring good time of a show...." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...for those who prefer their comedy in deliciously poor taste, preferably performed by men dressed up as women, “Cooking With the Calamari Sisters” hits the sweet spot....The show opens with a spoof of “Food Glorious Food” from “Oliver!” and includes a couple of Italian standards. .....the slutty Carmela (Stephen Smith) comes off like a wanna-be real housewife of New Jersey. The prudish Delphine (Jay Falzone), on the other hand, is more like a wannabe nun who can’t stop herself from dropping a few F-bombs while scolding theatergoers for their spotty church attendance....there’s nothing particularly original about the formula here....But execution is everything, and Falzone and Smith have wonderfully combustible chemistry and are quick, naughty wits in the improvisational bits.It’s a musical cooking show, but neither of those things matter much. Come for the laughs, stay for more laughs. " Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

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