Review: The Gods of Comedy


Leona Gagalac, Editor

This weekend, FTHS’ Patriot Productions put on their fall show, The Gods of Comedy! For months, the cast and crew have been working and rehearsing in preparation for the show dates, and the success of the comedy and audience reception reflects just that. The production made the most ticket sales for an FTHS play in recent history, as per co-Director Mrs. Richardson, and the laughs heard in the auditorium can attest to the fact.

The show opens up with Andrew Parisi as Aristide, a Naxos merchant decked in a glittery vest adjacent to Aladdin. He engulfs audiences into Greece, setting up the plot and conflict. Parisi’s comedic timing, cadence, and confidence on stage set the pace for the rest of the comedy. The Gods of Comedy’s leading lady, Emily Landolfi, is a class act on stage. She captures Daphne’s journey with so much assurance and talent, commanding the audience with everything from a dramatic monologue to screaming at Ralph for being a… tramp. Landolfi exudes the passion and zest Daphne has for Greek culture, as well as her emotional journey in finding the substance in her life.

A highlight from the show has to be the dynamic duo that is Dionysus and Thalia, played by Daniel Lodges and Veronica Girandola. As archetypes of comedy, Lodges and Girandola complement each other’s wit, comedic timing, and stage presence perfectly. They go from togas and gold to donning letterman jackets, discovering new 21st century items. Their attempts at helping out Daphne hardly help at first, but their delivery of comeback-after-comeback kept the audience hysterically laughing through the whole show. They even accidentally summon Ares, played by AJ Tedeschi, to both their surprise and his later utter rage. Tedeschi was able to offset the cast with his caricature of a stoic, demeaning Greek God well.

Conner Keough’s Ralph brings a burst of energy into the hunt, often with a kick and a “Grk!” when things don’t go right. Keough captures the nerdy, stubborn, work-obsessed, and sometimes sleazy ways of Ralph that both compliments the rest of the cast and also adds to the comedic cast of characters. Brooklyn De Wolfe, played by Val Avallone, sets a moral roadblock for Ralph. They embodied the persona of a mysterious and artistic Hollywood star well. Avallone was also able to mimic the habits of Lodges in the second act as Dionysus, but who pretended to take the form of De Wolfe as a whole body-swap ordeal. Their performance with both Ralph and Ares added so much to the comedic nature of the show.

Piper Doherty’s performance as Dean Trickett, the Classics Department’s head, shows her versatility as an actor, going from the prestige of a Dean to the youthful cadence of Thalia in the middle of Act II. Doherty is a force of nature that is strong in the midst of the show’s plotline. On the other end of the university hierarchy, Phillip Glenn’s Aleksi was naive yet easygoing, as he had no malicious intent when grabbing the play off of Daphne’s desk. With his passions being cleaning and Classics, Glenn was able to make the most of his appearances on stage, with feather-dusting-paper-shredding bits that began the show with so much laughter.

All in all, The Gods of Comedy is truly an energetic, ensemble-heavy piece, as each character and their development contributes to both the story and the success of the show. The small cast of characters immersed audiences into the world of mortals and gods well, with lively and memorable performances by all actors. Patriot Productions, once again, puts on another fantastic show, leaving audiences excited for the upcoming spring musical!

Synopsis: The show opens up with Aristide (Andrew Parisi) capturing the audience within the bustling town of Naxos, Greece. Classics professor Daphne Rain (Emily Landolfi) is the epitome of a workaholic, stressed about tenure while in the Mediterranean. Set up with Ralph (Conner Keough) by Aristide to find a lost play, Andromeda. Ralph finds the play when the two go back to the states, but Aleksi (Phillip Glenn), the university’s custodian and Classics connoisseur, unknowingly takes the important book in a sweep of the room. From Mount Olympus, Dionysus (Daniel Lodges) and Thalia (Veronica Girandola) hear Daphne’s calls for help, assisting her in her hunt for the lost play. With Hollywood star Brooklyn De Wolfe (Val Avallone) and Greek god Ares (AJ Tedeschi) in the mix, the comedy leaves audiences laughing all the way through.

Understudy cast: Aristide: Connor Ormsby; Daphne: Amanda Storm; Dean Trickett: Allison Karmazin; Ralph: Joseph Wicke; Zoe: Piper Doherty; Aleksi: Adelaide Bertrand: Dionysus: Andrew Parisi; Thalia: Grace Harrivan; Ares: Noah Zalika