Laughing lowers stress and can reduce the chances of getting sick, according to science.
Barrington Stage Company(BSC) presents BOCA, a comedy that aims to make you laugh and let loose.
Boca Raton has long been a popular tourist destination and is known to have a large population of retired citizens.
With powder white sand, a clear blue ocean, and the occasional plastic flamingo lawn ornament, Boca Raton is a fitting destination to live the life of luxury and smoke some oregano.
Artistic Director Julianne Boyd addressed the crowd stating, “After this past year we are due for a laugh or two and BOCA will do just that.”
Playwright Jessica Provenz composes the perfect comedy with layers of Jewish humor and stereotypical retiree lifestyle situations.
Provenz has had work featured at BSCs 10X10 New Play Festival, and is BSC’s Director of Development.
BOCA is a grouping of 11 short plays and an epilogue about the interrelated lives of residents from a gated senior community in Boca Raton, Fla.
Directed by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, BOCA pleases audiences with a small group of funny dynamic actors that had crowds roaring with laughter.
The cast is comprised of six actors playing dual roles as different members of the condo community.
The most well-known actor in this company is Debra Jo Rupp, best known for her long-time television role as Kitty Foreman in That 70’s Show.
Completing this incredibly funny cast are Gilbert Cruz, April Ortiz, Kenneth Tigar, Peggy Pharr Wilson and Robert Zuckerman.
Jen Caprio’s costumes were perfectly done, the Hawaiian print shirts and the dresses that scream “Florida condo” were very well executed.
Brian Prather used the tent to his advantage, decorating the small stage with big palm trees and bright colors which perfectly suit this show.
What makes this comedy work is the way Provenz weaves common compulsion traits of “older” retirees together to create some pointed, but good natured, humor.
With the stevia at the club disappearing and failed anniversary gifts, these short plays are filled with comedy that is relatable, whimsical, and a joy to watch.
The entire cast are experts at comedy, they all use body language, comedic timing, and vocal tonalities to embody each one of their roles.
Beneath the satire and the belly laugh jokes are everyday life’s moments that are peeking through the cracks.
Themes of companionship and marital ups and downs are among the many that are explored.
Rupp brings her signature voice and refined comedic skills to her characters Susan and Iris.
Susan is a retired kindergarten teacher, running for the condo board, and Iris is a typical housewife seeking her Thelma and Louise or modern-day Grace and Frankie type of adventure.
Kenneth Tiger as both Mo and Bruce and Robert Zukerman as both Marty and Rabbi Wolberg start and end the show, bookends on a park bench to start and end a story.
Peggy Pharr Wilson is a riot in Stay Please, as Elaine, a widow who is trying to snag a man with her delicious lasagna.
It will be a great mitzvah to bring your friends and family to see this Barrington Stage production of the hilarious show BOCA.
BOCA has already been extended by popular demand until Aug 29.
BOCA runs two and a half hours and is being performed under Barrington Stage’s tent located at their Laurel St. lot in Pittsfield, Mass.
You can purchase tickets by calling the box office at 413-236-8888 or via their website at barringtonstageco.org/Season-shows/boca/
Let’s be honest. This play is mediocre at best. To start with….the writing is something to be desired. My elementary school daughter can write better punch lines than I heard in Boca. The actors….they don’t know their lines…their staging…I’m pretty sure actors that are being paid to be in this performance should at least take some pride in what they are doing. And Debra Jo Rupp. She’s the worst of all of them. Everyone is blowing smoke up her butt because she is the closest thing to a celebrity this town has. But she clearly walks around the stage making up lines, realizing she’s wrong, and tries to double back all while the other actors have to try and play along. The show originally had an intermission….it was taken out…why? because it came people the opportunity to politely leave half way through the performance. Now people just mass exit after each scene (They have plenty of time considering how long each scene change takes). Jessica Provenz should stick with development and Julianne Boyd, who may have once been relevant in this industry, should call it quits on her lame attempt to direct a play. Take it from someone who had to suffer through this…Save your money and visit an actual retirement community. First, you’ll actually see diversity…Last time I checked…more than white residents do live in them…and for a theater that “prides” themselves on diversity….I’m almost positive they have had 2 actors of color in their entire season as well as none behind the scenes writing or directing….