"Confessions of a Dirty Blonde" at the Milford Center for the Arts - Stage and Screen
"Confessions of a Dirty Blonde," the wacky, laugh-filled play by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, is currently being given a sterling production by the Eastbound Theatre Company. The action takes place in a suite at the Hotel Carlyle in New York City, circa 1962 and concerns the return to the spotlight the actress named Lillian LaMour (portrayed by the perfectly cast D. Johnson), a recluse about to make a rare, eagerly anticipated appearance at Carnegie Hall.
This is the premise of the show and the springboard for the dizzying array of events that fill this production. As directed by the deft Jessica Denes, the action and pace rarely let up, which befits a farce of this caliber. Add to this a host of fine performances and you have a certified ticket to a riotous evening of theater.
The play opens with Chick Lipton (played by the very funny Bobby Thomas), Lillian LaMour's agent, frantically awaiting the arrival of Lillian to the Hotel Carlyle. The concierge, Russell Brocade (the dapper Luke Lynch), and the bell boy Joey Burrows (the witty Peter Delaney) are also eager to see her and there is much fanfare when Lillian finally does arrive.
I don't want to give away too many of the secrets of the show (which is half the fun), but I will say that a fierce lion, many cases of mistaken identity, and a policeman (played by the fine Tom Costaggini) all figure into the plot.
Throughout, the actors manage to maintain an air of class and fun as they move about the terrific set (designed by the always apt Robert Watts), which is filled with several doors that a farce like this calls for.
What's even better is that each member of the company gets their chance to shine. Those not yet mentioned include Rita (Erika Ward), Lillian's daughter, Johnny Torenado as Lillian's would-be love interest (Bob Franchini), and Thomas Takacs and Susan DeVaney in smaller roles; all of them couldn't be better.
But special attention should be paid to Dave Jackins as Dr. Dubel. First appearing with cigarette and ashtray in hand to tend to Lillian and later running repeatedly across the set (and down the aisles) clad in bright red and black boxer shorts, Jackins is quite simply a scream, delivering all his lines with flair and style.
Indeed, if the rest of the cast wasn't as good, this actor would walk away with the show and I have to confess that whenever Jackins was onstage, I couldn't take my eyes off of him.
Still, director Denes, who also did such a great job last year with "The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild" (also starring Bobby Thomas) at the Eastbound Theatre Company, knows how to focus the production and that focus has to be on the main character, Lillian LaMour.
D. Johnson knows how to live up to the title, "Confessions of a Dirty Blonde," and she does manage to get her time in the spotlight toward the conclusion of the play.
If for no other reason, this show should be seen to witness Lillian's return to the stage and the mayhem that follows. But I won't give anything away. If you are in the mood for a funny, nutty night of theater, you couldn't do better than to see "Confessions of a Dirty Blonde."
The schedule of performances is Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. and the next weekend Feb. 16 at 8 p.m., Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15, Seniors and Students paying $12.50, and to call for tickets, dial 882-0969.
Zander Opper is a resident of Orange.