Off-Broadway Theater Review: 13 THINGS ABOUT ED CARPOLOTTI (59E59 Theaters)

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by Cindy Pierre on December 13, 2012

in Theater-New York

A PENNY’S WORTH

In the mood for some light-hearted, endearing entertainment that will make your face and heart smile?  Then get yourself a ticket to Barry Kleinbort’s (direction, book, music and lyrics) 13 Things about Ed Carpolotti, a new one-act cabaret based on a monologue from Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings.  Although the plot introduction takes a backseat to nostalgia and character development, this homage to long-lasting love is a delightful romp into the life of gangsters.

Cindy Pierre’s Stage and Cinema review of 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti at 59E59 TheatersSet in 1996 in the Northeast, 13 Things centers on Virginia Carpolotti (the excellent, elegant and charming Penny Fuller of Love, Loss and What I Wore), a recently widowed, wealthy woman who discovers (to her terror) that in addition to a lot of fond memories and a daughter that’s difficult to understand, her husband has left her with a mountain of insurmountable debt that she can’t possibly pay back. Instead of seeing the world and fanning herself on sunny porches like some widows are known to do, Virginia finds herself having to think fast and come up with a solution to her potentially dangerous problem.  Soon, creditors like her husband’s brother and those of the “two-thumbs” and “no neck” variety come a-knockin’.  But the worst is an anonymous note left in her home threatening to blow the whistle on 13 shameful things that her husband has done and been involved in if she doesn’t pay up.  What’s a lady to do?

Cindy Pierre’s Stage and Cinema review of 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti at 59E59 TheatersKeep the audience absorbed, that’s what.  Fuller rises to the challenge by completely embracing the role and imbuing it with fun, warmth, and comedy.  Accompanied beautifully on piano and occasional voice by Paul Greenwood, Fuller captivates the audience by regaling us with memories of a 40-year marriage that ended on Christmas day.  A fine entertainer reminiscent of Betty White in her younger years, Fuller’s presence on the stage is as wonderful during her impressions of people like Jerry Lewis as it is when her character is filled with anxiety or longing.

At 60 minutes running time, 13 Things is short enough for you to miss it when it’s over, but not long enough for you to get bored.  Even though things don’t really get going until 25 minutes into the show, the portrait that is set up in the beginning of a couple that loved each other so completely makes an already sweet ending not only satisfying, but well-played.

Cindy Pierre’s Stage and Cinema review of 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti at 59E59 Theaters

photos by Carol Rosegg

13 Things About Ed Carpolotti
Harbinger Records and Jamie deRoy in association with the Action Company at 59E59 Theaters
scheduled to end on December 30th, 2012
for tickets, call 212-279-4200 or visit http://www.ticketcentral.com

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