by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM
Orange Park Community Theatre (OPCT) opened its 2nd show of its 42nd season, with Katherine DiSavino’s comedy Nana’s Naughty Knickers. Just one glance at the title and you know Orange Park could only be doing an outrageous comedy and you would be right.
This play by Ms. DiSavino debuted last year at a dinner theatre in Pennsylvania, but already has been picked up other dinner and community theatres. And why not? How many plays come along that have two leading characters who are eighty-plus years old?
All the action takes place in an upscale New York apartment, where widowed octogenarian Sylvia Charles, played by the bubbly and bright Brenda Cohn, lives. She had worked in the Maidenform Bra factory for years, and after her husband died, started making and selling sexy undergarments in her apartment for those seniors who wanted to put some zest and zip into their lives. Except for the customers of “Savvy Slips, Etc” no one knows about this little boutique, since she hides her inventory in clever secret locations in the apartment. (That’s part of the fun and also necessary because her lease restricts use of the premises for business purposes.) No, no one knows at first, not her law student granddaughter Bridget (Elise T. Carlson) who is spending the summer with Sylvia, not Tom (Jimmy Carter), the NYPD beat cop who becomes enamored with the attractive Bridget, not the greedy landlord Gil (Ray Chute) who has been trying for years to evict Sylvia from her rent controlled apartment. No, not even the license bureau or the IRS knows about this illegal business!
The first act exposition moves along a bit slowly, peppered only by the wisecrack remarks of hard of hearing Vera (Susan Carcaba), her best friend and neighbor, who has been given some of the best lines in the show. The pace picks up when the two old ladies and granddaughter put on some of the sexy merchandise for a photo shoot for Sylvia’s new web-site.
Like a good farce, things build even further when a UPS delivery accidentally brings several boxes of hardcore porno stuff, like handcuffs, whips, and chains intended for a similarly named firm, “Saucy Lips, Etc, whose motto is “to boldly go where no lips have ever gone”!!!
Things get more heated when the long- legged sexy Heather VanPree (Janice Alston) shows up to claim the wrongly delivered Saucy Lips merchandise. Rounding out the cast are two UPS men, Dave Quirk and Kyle Harmon, and Carol Waters as the landlord’s wife, who has a small but significant role in resolving all the issues in an audience-pleasing way.
Now all of this may sound terribly salacious, but believe us it is all quite innocent with lots of laughs especially in the second act.
Director Barbara Wells has directed a number of OPTC comedies, and does them skillfully; she was also the Set Designer. The set was lovely, with a large fireplace, and colorful South American and floral wall hangings. She and her husband David, as Technical Director, were responsible for all those “secret passages” in the very smart NYC apartment.
Costumer Pat Gorman and Properties Chairman Denise French made this a colorful show, with many interesting touches. For example, Vera wears capris and has a feather boa draped over her walker that matches her slippers.
If you want a couple of hours of chuckles and laughs then check out Nana’s Naughty Knickers. Call 276-2599 or visit www.opct.org for reservations.
NANA'S NAUGHTY KNICKERS
by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM