ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT/THEATRE REVIEWS

The Peterborough Players production of Ripcord featuring Kathy Manfre, Bridget Beirne, Cory Buffaloe and Lisa Bostnar. Photo by Will Howell

By EVE FISHER
Your Local Court Jester

PETERBOROUGH – Ripcord is an absolute emotional rollercoaster ride of a show.

The Peterborough Players, with leading ladies Kathy Manfre and Lisa Bostnar, opened the New Hampshire premiere of the comedy, by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, on Thursday.

In Ripcord, two roommates in a senior living facility, the bitter Abby and chipper Marilyn, place a bet on whether Marilyn gets to stay in their room or has to move to another one and leave Abby alone. The premise seems simple enough, but that jumping off point quickly leads Abby and Marilyn into an intense competition and an absolutely wild story.

Manfre and Bostnar, playing Marilyn and Abby respectively, completely balance each other out with their amazing performances and chemistry.

The show starts off funny, yet somewhat normal. You think you know what you’re in for.

However, as the play progresses, situations get more and more out of hand culminating in some downright hysterical moments punctuated by some emotionally heart-wrenching ones.

Kathy Manfre and Lisa Bostnar, photo by Will Howell

There are times when you think you know exactly how a scene is going to go and then they pull not only the rug, but the floor out from under you.

Directed by Players artistic director Gus Kaikkonen, Ripcord is the kind of show where you’re cackling one second and then brought to tears the next and it all still flows perfectly, never feeling choppy or forced — the comedic intertwining with the dramatic, tag-teaming flawlessly.

Bridget Beirne, Will Howell, Cory Buffaloe and Tyler Richardson round out the hilarious cast, making every supporting character memorable and really pop. The performances will tug at your heartstrings, make your face hurt from smiling, and make your stomach hurt from laughing.

Lindsay-Abaire’s writing is in good hands with this cast and makes for stunning performances. Every actor lit up the stage in a different way that perfectly complimented the story and the other actors.

Utterly quotable, memorable and hysterical, Ripcord pushes every situation to the worst case scenario in the funniest way as well as to surprisingly heartwarming places.

It was an amazing way to spend my night and I trust it will be for you as well.

Ripcord opened Thursday and continues through Feb. 25.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, with 2 p.m. shows Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information call (603) 924-7585 or go online to peterboroughplayers.org.

Click here to read an interview with the cast and director by MEGHAN PIERCE

“It feels like an episode of the Golden Girls — if the Golden Girls aired on HBO,” actor Cory Buffaloe says. “It’s a classic sitcom setup with more edge and weight to it that you get on a network.”