By George J. Dacre
A Lot Of Fun At Westchester Broadway Theatre
Singer, director, actor, John Fogarty and a very talented cast put on “The Great Pretender” Monday evening at the Westchester Broadway Theatre and your reviewer loved it.
With great fifties music taking them from scene to scene Fogarty and John West, who played private eye Jack Chandler, wove a story of mystery wondering who killed Johnie Angelo.
Was it his wife, sultry Mrs. Angelo (Harvey Swindal?) Was it Troy Manely (Fogarty)? Was it the Tzar (Paul Romnello)? The Bodyguard (Peter Carrier)? Or even a dog, Gopher (Augie Abatecola)? West tries to piece it together while his secretary Vera (Stacey Harris) tries to keep him off the bottle.
Enter the Tzar who wants West to find out who killed Johnie Angelo. Name sound familiar? West gets on the case when the Tzar tosses a bunch of cash at him.
The plot thickens with Mrs. Angelo throwing her body all over the stage. There were some poignant scenes in The Looney Bin, a local bar and hangout for the characters involved.
The music, started off with Fogarty doing “The Wanderer,” and there was “Witchcraft, At Last”, “Last Dance With Me”, “That’ll Be The Day. Don’t Be Cruel, Since I Don’t Have You, Earth Angel, All Shook Up, Return To Sender , The Great Pretender done by a great singer Steve Dixon who also rendered Since I Don’t Have You to big applause.
By intermission West found out that Johnie Angelo was alive and planning a comeback. Sure enough Johnie turns up (acted by Augie Abatecola) and the audience gets a break to refresh and come back for Act Two. Are some of us confused and wondering who could have killed Johnie Angelo if he is alive?
In act two it got wilder and more involved. The audience all had slips with the five possible suspects names and were told not to circle the one we though might be the killer until Jack Chandler told us to do so.
When he did we all turned in our slips and lo and behold it turns of that the Tzar was the guilty one and he is handcuffed and led off by Police Detective Dave (John Sanzaro).
It was alot of fun and we rate “The Great Pretender” at Westchester Broadway Theatre Three Out Of Four Stars” and hope there will be more murder mystery musicals at WBT.