'Goldilocks' just right for parents, patient kids
By CAROLINE HUGHES
July 09, 2009
HYANNIS — Even though "Goldilocks and the Three Bears From Outer Space" has some familiar fairy tale creatures, other faces transport the play into unfamiliar territory. Jimmy Hoffa, Anastasia Romanov and Elvis Presley join the cast in the second half of the play.
Writers-directors (and brothers) Frederick Sullivan Jr. and John Sullivan have re-imagined the popular children's story and peppered it with enough mature jokes that adults appeared more entertained than their kids were on opening night. The new interpretation gives spice to the otherwise well-known plot (girl enters unfamiliar house, tries out the furniture and food, and finally falls asleep in a perfectly sized bed) by adding plenty of bear puns and references to "The X-Files."
Goldilocks, believing that aliens have landed in her town of Kalamazoo, Mich., searches for evidence in the Bear family home and is charged with breaking and entering. Skeptical police Sgt. Frank Rizzo (played by a wonderfully believable Anastasios Pappasotiriou) and his nervous deputy (Jeremy Peacock, a nice foil to the overbearing sergeant) doubt her claims, even when FBI agents Mully and Sculdor (Sound familiar ... ish?) come by to check things out.
The motley crew of first act-ers travels to outer space in the second act in an attempt to stop the "bad guy," Xanderararar the Majestic (Mike O'Toole) and meet a few historical figures along the way.
The character impersonations were incredibly impressive, particularly Dick Weir's superbly realistic Albert Einstein, Greg Gianno's smooth-talking Elvis, and Will Turner's powerful Jimmy Hoffa. They were intricately precise, with perfect accents, contemporaneous turns-of-phrase and impressive costuming.
Michelle McGaughey's Goldilocks is saucy, bold and frantic. Her voice and personality are out-of-this-world loud. But it works. She bounces between sweet and violent, from crying sweetly on a chair to stomping on Sergeant Rizzo's foot.
Goldilocks is pitiable, likable, and deplorable all at once. She's a self-proclaimed SAP — member of the Space Alien Protection club, that is. Her mop of bouncy blond curls and pretty patent-leather shoes invite sympathy and make the audience believe her alien theory.
Kids seemed to love the Bear family, though they didn't seem to catch the overbearing puns, especially little Junior Bear (played by Ryan Chevalier on opening night, alternating with Gregory Keating) who just wants to do the right thing.
In keeping with the unwritten rule that comic bad guys really can't be that bad, Xanderararar is slightly too pathetic to be evil. I found myself feeling sorry for him despite his evil plans of galactic domination.
The piece de la resistance is the army of Meeps, aliens played by young children, who indisputably stole the show. The kids who had been sitting patiently through a multitude of adult jokes cackled excitedly when the extraterrestrials marched onstage in masks and robes. They are the least intimidating and most lovable army of aliens imaginable.
"Goldilocks" is a terrific show for parents who want to be entertained and for kids who can sit still during breaks in the kid-friendly bits. Be prepared to explain labor unions and space travel on the ride home.