By Mary Damiano
The laughter that filled The Foundry on the opening night of Ronnie Larsen’s play, The Actors, was so hearty, so raucous, that I would not be surprised if it spilled out of the theatre and onto nearby Wilton Drive. But I’m sure I was not the only one in the sold-out house fighting back a tear or two.
Larsen’s play strikes the right balance between hilarity and heart-tugging in this delightful, genuinely moving story of a lonely, middle-aged man who still grieves the loss of his parents so deeply that he hires actors to come to his apartment and portray them a couple times a week, to give him the warm and fuzzy family feels he recalls from his boyhood.
There is also a charming, loopy, meta quality to this production as Larsen plays the main character, named Ronnie Larsen, and many of the plot details are based on Larsen’s own life. He reunites with his Grindr Mom team of super-talented director Stuart Meltzer and the brilliant, rubber-faced Jeni Hacker—the first scene alone between Larsen and Hacker is worth the price of admission—and adds Jerry Seeger, Chad Raven the incomparable David Kwiat to the mix.
This a gem of a play—easily the prolific Larsen’s best yet—is a stellar production and one of the funniest shows to grace a South Florida stage in years. Do not miss it. If you don’t laugh, you need your funny bone examined.
The Actors runs through October 2 at The Foundry in Wilton Manors. For more information and to buy tickets, visit RonnieLarsen.com.