Israel Horovitz is a prolific playwright, and his latest offering, "Out Of The Mouth Of Babes," is one of his best. His wit and humor and sardonic look at relationships are on full display in this four-handed comedy that feature the stunning cast of Estelle Parsons, Judith Ivey, Francesca Choy-Kee, and Angelina Fiordellisi. Under the direction of Barnet Kellman, the sparks fly back and forth among these four women, all of whom have been romantically involved with a man whose funeral they have come to attend in Paris.
The concept is that the deceased has died at the age of 100 after a full career of teaching at a Paris conservatory, collecting art, and collecting women. Of the four women gathered in his loft, one was married to him at the time of his death, two are ex-wives, and one is an ex-lover. The skein of resentments that exists among the four would baffle a sociologist, for it turns out that in several cases, one woman had replaced another as the object of desire of this equal opportunity Lothario. Of particular interest to me was the fact that three of the four women hail from Boston - one from the North End, one from South Boston, and one from Cambridge. His much younger last wife, Marie-Belle, is the lone exception. The playwright's Boston roots come through as the Evelyn and Evvie and Janice discuss Johnny Pesky, the recently deceased icon of the Boston Red Sox. Complications arise when Marie-Belle comes home and reveals that the spirit of the man they all loved is making frequent contact with her, even to the point of tickling her. It is the audience that is most tickled by the shenanigans that ensue.
|Angelina Fiordellisi as Janice|
Francesca Choy-Kee as Marie-Belle
Judith Ivey as Evvie
Estelle Parsons as Evelyn
"Out of the Mouth of Babes'
by Israel Horovitz
Cherry Lane Theatre
Through July 31st
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Neil Patel has designed a gorgeous set that includes more than two dozen original works of art, several of which have been created by names such as Rosie O'Donnell, Joel Grey, Billy Dee Williams, and Clive Barker. Costumes are by Joseph G. Aulisi, Lighting by Paul Miller and Sound by Leon Rothenberg.
The brilliance of this play lies primarily in the non-stop acerbic repartee that flies back and forth among these four rivals. The lines have been crafted by a master wordsmith, and flawlessly delivered by a cast that sparkles. The original limited run of this play has been extended through July 31st. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on this show eventually finding a home in one of the intimate Broadway houses. If the reaction of the audience on the night when I attended is any indication, this is a play that will resonate with many people. I found it to be a total delight. It is a "Must See." Get yourself to the West Village, and hear Horovitz's inspired words as they cascade out of the mouths of these four talented babes!
Cherry Lane Theatre Website