Here’s an offer you can’t refuse: Spend the evening with a group of mobsters, a beautiful girl and a naïve playwright for a laugh-filled 90 minutes at the Charlotte Players’ Langdon Playhouse. It’s “Breaking Legs,” which opens on Friday, Jan. 5 for the first of eight performances at the black box theater located inside the Community Theater Center, 1182 Market Street, Port Charlotte.
Set in an Italian restaurant owned by a successful mobster and managed by his beautiful, unmarried daughter, things get complicated when her former college professor arrives to ask for financial backing for a play he has written about a murder. The father and his Mafiosi pals are intrigued with producing the play, and the daughter becomes enamored of the playwright, who is delighted to have the family’s support. His bubble is burst when he discovers, through the “accidental” death by train of a lesser thug, that his backers are gangsters.
“In this madcap situation, murder and menace are served up with plenty of pasta and laughter,” said Ken Crisp, who is directing the production. “It is a great, fun-filled script.”Sandi Wood plays Angie, the daughter and restaurant manager, with Steve Pignataro as her father Lou, the restaurant proprietor, and Jim Manns as Terrance, the playwright. Portraying Lou’s pals are Rich Long (Mike), Robert Brandal (Frankie) and Rich Schmith (Tino). Jeanne DeYoung is stage manager and prop mistress, while her daughter Meegan and Michelle Long provide backstage assistance. Chris Smith designed the set.
Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for students and may be ordered at the Charlotte Players website (www.charlotteplayers.org) or by calling 941-255-1022. The Langdon is an intimate, 80-seat theater, so reservations are recommended.
Director Crisp began playing the piano at the age of eight. He has accompanied many different cabaret artists during his professional career, as well as working with various choruses throughout his life. He has been involved with community theater locally since 1991. Having owned his own theater company (Crisp & Co.), Crisp is well versed in all facets of stage production. He is currently choir director and director of music at San Antonio Catholic Church in Port Charlotte, and he works as a free-lance graphic artist.
Author Tom Dulack is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and director. His plays Incommunicado won a Kennedy Center Prize for New American Drama and Friends like These won the Kaufman and Hart Prize for New American Comedy. His other plays include The Road to Damascus, Diminished Capacity, Solomon’s Child, and Mrs. Rossetti.