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Neil Sedaka Songs Boost Box Office at Ivoryton Playhouse
Theater & Entertainment
October 5, 2012
By: Anthony Schillaci and Don Church


Theatre Critic for Middletown Press

Remember back to the 1960’s when the Bozo the Clown Punching Bop Bag, with bright red hair, squeaky nose, bop zone and sand filled base, was all the rage.  You vent your stress and frustration by hitting it down and watching it pop right back up again, ready for another round.  How wonderful it would be if people could be that resilient and could bounce back as easily when they are knocked down by disappointment.

Just ask Marge Gelman whose fiancé left her at the altar.  She justifiably was devastated and depressed and despondent.  So it’s her B.F.F, best friend forever, Lois to the rescue and a three-day weekend at Esther’s Paradise Resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York as a quick fix, a temporary Band-aid, to inject a dose of momentary joy.

To journey with Marge and Lois, come along to the Ivoryton Playhouse for a musical injection of Neil Sedaka tunes in “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” with book by Erik Jackson and Ben H. Winters, until Sunday, October 14.

Leah Monzillo’s Marge and Sheila Coyle’s Lois jump into the bevy of activities that Esther (Melanie Souza) and her resort are famous for as they try to heal one broken and bruised heart.

The girls quickly find themselves swept up with hunky head singer Del Delmonaco (Christopher DeRosa) who has an ego as big as the resort’s mountain range.  Initially he seems a good choice to get Marge out of her despair but his callousness only makes the situation worse, when she realizes her mistake.  Enter Gabe (Scott Scaffidi), a sincere guy who is secretly writing all of Del ’s songs and letting Del take all the credit.  Gabe sees Marge for the sweetheart she is and happiness is clearly around the corner.

A happy ending is also forecast for the club’s top comic Harvey (R. Bruce Connelly) who discovers, amidst all the jokes and smaltz, that he loves Esther.  Jacqueline Hubbard directs the romantic romp that is stuffed with Sedaka songs like “Where the Boys Are,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Calendar Girl,” “Solitaire,” “Laughter in the Rain” and “Love Will Keep Us Together,” all under the musical direction of John S. DeNicola and Vic Perpetua.

For tickets ($40, seniors $35, students $20, children $15), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street , Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or go online to  Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m

Cheer for Marge to recover her romantic equilibrium and once again find love, with the help of her best bud Lois and the music of Neil Sedaka as her lucky charms.


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