Viagara Falls

  • Date:
    June 1, 2010
    Review by:
    Tulis McCall

    Review by Tulis McCall
    (31 Jun 2010)

    In a word – unfortunate. There is barely a square inch of production values that is not covered by this word.

    Two men in their ‘70’s get together to celebrate a birthday. The birthday boy Carley (Lou Cutell) has taken a Viagra and wants to go out on the town. Moe (Bernie Kopell) his downtrodden schmo of a chum says no. Initially Moe doesn’t know about the Viagra and is simply embarrassed to go out into life’s pathways. He is resigned and ready to die whenever that blessed event may come. Charley, on the other hand, is ready to cha-cha-cha and awaits any woman who will accept his invitation.

    When Moe puts the kibosh on going out on the town, Charley decides he will bring the party to them and orders a hooker from an agency that specializes in the needs of older men. Soon Jaqueline Tempest (Teresa Ganzel) shows up, and the evening, supposedly, takes off.

    Except it doesn’t. It never even gets started. This is because the script is flimsier than gauze and these otherwise good, not great, actors have been hung out to dry. The odd bit here is that one of the writers is Lou Cutell, thus giving him the dubious honor of having done himself in.

    The main problem here is that these two vibrant actors, in their 70’s, were told to “act old”. That much is given to them in the script. They talk about how it feels to have your body betray you, how life is slowly sagging downhill and how the world out there has done ‘em wrong.

    Fellas – this just ain’t funny any more. And it reduces the characters – two men who have known each other since the Korean war where one saved the other’s life – to caricatures. Please!!! Give me old. Give me grumpy. But give me a story with it. Remember George Burns – he twinkled up to the age of 100. He was intriguing, opinionated, and dogged. Give me THAT please.

    As well Teresa Ganzell is reduced to playing a stereotype – tall gal with big bouncy tits who is plucky and a little down on her luck. She is told to be earnest and a little dim and do it using a voice that main lines sweetness to the point that it starts sounding like fingernails on a blackboard.

    It would be one thing if these actors were given the job of being despondent or dim within the confines of a script that gave them something to chew on. This script along with the direction, which is shamefully lifeless, do not. Watching these people work nearly had me hallucinating with what any of them might do if things were different.

    Sadly, this production will not give any of us that pleasure. Too bad there is not more work out there for older actors so that they would not have to resort to writing or working with scripts like this.

    (Tulis McCall)