No Small Parts

‘Send Me No Flowers’ Shows Deep Pool Of Local Talent

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre opened its production of the 1960 Broadway musical “Send Me No Flowers.” The play will be performed this afternoon and again next Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.
Photo by Aubrey Russell

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre opened its production of the 1960 Broadway musical “Send Me No Flowers.” The play will be performed this afternoon and again next Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Photo by Aubrey Russell

If you want to see a play where every single cast member, without exception, is terrific, get your tickets now for “Send Me No Flowers” at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown.

Written by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore, the play doesn’t have much of a plot, but the cast, under the direction of Todd Pullan, creates an enjoyable evening of comedy. Briefly, a hypochondriac mistakenly thinks he’s going to die, and tries to provide for his wife by buying burial plots and finding her a second husband. When he discovers that he is not going to die, his wife thinks it was all an act to cover up an affair.

Kimberly Larson plays Judy Kimball, the loving, patient wife, and Larson gets it right, showing sympathy for George’s imaginary ills, without really believing him. Daniel Lucariello as George gets it right, too, especially later in the play when all his efforts to make everything right seem to be making it all worse.

Rycheigh Allan plays Judy’s boyfriend from the past, Bert Power, a nice guy, even if a bit of a braggart, who stumbles into a strange situation.

Peter Larson, who also stage managed the production, makes a wonderful Doctor Morrissey, and has some great lines, riffing on why he should have been a specialist, rather than a general practitioner.

Next to appear is good neighbor Arnold Nash, played by Lee John, who has absolutely nailed that performance, especially when Arnold is drunk. If you’re old enough to remember Foster Brooks, he’s that good. If you don’t know who Foster Brooks is, check out YouTube.

I loved Amanda Meleen as Mrs. Atkins, sales rep for Memory Gardens cemetery. Her Mrs. Atkins is upbeat and perky and she sees nothing wrong with George buying three burial plots, one for the “second husband.”

William Paul and Patti Culliton as Vito and Miss Mason respectively, have almost cameo roles, but as the old saying goes, “there are no small parts, only small actors.” No small actors here.

There’s only one dance scene in the play, but it’s another part of the play that’s done right, thanks to choreographer Libby Nord.

Technically, the backstage crew, headed by Jason Dorman, did a great job. The scene changes when quickly and smoothly and the dream sequences were well defined by both lights and music. You can’t have a successful production without a good team both on and off stage, and for this show, many people worked in both areas.

Gold star to Kathy Andrews, Mike Cave, Patti Culliton, Terry Coleman, Jason Dorman, Doug Gray, Peter Larson, Amanda Meleen, Norman Merrill, Jan Merrill, Bill Paul, Robert Paul, Jason Dorman, Maddy Dorman, Andy Pullan and Todd Pullan.

For a small town, Jamestown has a deep pool of talent, and it’s on display in Send Me No Flowers.

The play repeats this afternoon at 2 p.m., next Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door, on line at www.lucilleballlittle-theatre.org or at the box office, 483-1095, or, in person, Tuesday thru Friday, 12:30 to 4:30.

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