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These two retirees get the best of their kids by 'Spreading it Around'

April 29, 2011
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

With a population weighted toward seniors and retirees, area residents here should find plenty to identify with in Thunder Bay Theatre's new comedy, "Spreading it Around." Let's just hope this local demographic doesn't get mistreated by their own kids anywhere close to how the character of Angie does.

Written by Canadian playwright Londos D'Arrigo, the amusing show stars local favorites Bunny Lyon as Angie, and David Usher as her nextdoor neighbor and friend, Martin. Lyon and Usher demonstrate once again why audiences always seem to find them so appealing on stage.

Both of their characters have buried their respective spouses. They currently are financially well-off and living out their twilight years in a gated retirement community in Florida.

Article Photos

News Photo by Diane Speer
Appearing in the Thunder Bay Theatre’s current production of “Spreading it Around” are seated, David Usher and Bunny Lyon, and standing from left, Rick Messler, John Martin and Kendra McInerney.

In Martin's case, his wife has only been deceased for seven weeks. He's still in a depressed and angry stage of mourning, while Angie, a strong and independent woman, is pleasantly trying to build a fulfilling life for herself.

Usher and Lyon, as always, manage to paint totally believable portrayals of these two very human and recognizable characters. Though both have adult children and grandchildren, none of them ever see fit to visit Angie and Martin. Their only contact with them, is when the kids need or want more money.

Tired of their ungrateful offspring, Martin and Angie start a philanthropic organization that they playfully call S.I.N., which stands for Spending It Now as opposed to saving it for their children to inherit. Their new found practice of giving money to others in genuine need brings them a great deal of self-satisfaction that is until Angie's son, Larry, catches wind that his mom has started to divest her portfolio.

That's when Larry and his shopaholic wife, Traci, show up at Angie's doorstep, hoping to get to the bottom of why she has suddenly started spending their inheritance. Actors John Martin and Kendra McInerney do their parts more than justice. McInerney plays the ultimate material girl exceedingly well, while Martin comes off appropriately as scheming and heartless, such as when he refers to the community where his mother lives as "I See Dead People, Florida."

At first Angie is delighted that her son and his wife have decided to visit her, but it doesn't take long for her to realize they are up to something.

Many double-entendres and hilarious situations later, the show comes to a pleasant conclusion but not before Larry has called in a psychiatrist, played by Rick Messler, in an attempt to declare his mother incompetent, and therefore, unable to manage her own money. Just like the other four actors in the show, Messler gives a solid and entertaining performance.

"Spreading it Around" marks TBT company member Nickie Hilton's first turn as director, and while she's eager to get back on stage, she certainly proved that she knows what she's doing from the director's chair. The show is fun and solid from beginning to end.

The attractive set depicts the interior of Angie's condo throughout both acts of the show. A particularly nice touch is the attractive patio visible through double-doors in the living room.

Remaining performance of "Spreading it Around" are April 29-May 1 and May 5-8, with show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For reservations, call the TBT box office at 354-2267.



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