Dueling Kitchen Divas Create Chaos
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
Ivoryton Playhouse is closing its 2012 subscription season with a lightweight comedy that will take your mind off your troubles. Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith makes fun of two easy targets: cable access TV shows and TV chefs.
The plot is minimal -- the show "Baking with Babka" is taping its last episode when Babka's nemesis, the competing chef Izzy, shows up and wrecks havoc. The two women bicker and insult each other in front of the studio audience. They have a long history -- from best friends in high school to dating the same man. The grievances and animosity run high.
The station's program manager loves the mayhem and decides the women should co-host a show. You know that will be a recipe for disaster with competing egos and sabotage. Adding to the complications is that the program's director is Stephen, Babka's son. He tries valiantly to keep the two women on task. But there are just too many diversions.
The four person cast works admirably with material that is not top drawer. Some of the jokes are of the "groan" variety and there are just too many mind boggling coincidences to mention here. Let's just say that Babka is not the Eastern European chef she initially appears to be but Dolly Biddle and that Izzy has some very interesting revelations to make. It seems as if every scene ends with a startling pronouncement.
What saves this from being a B grade sitcom are the fine performances by Lisa Foss as the tippling Dolly, Beverly J. Taylor as the more buttoned-down Izzy and Carl Howell as Stephen. Even Casey McKean, a local high school student, does a good job as Rob, the camera guy.
Credit must be given the fine direction by Maggie McGlone Jennings and she is aided by a set typical of low budget cable TV stations designed by Dan Nischan.
Kitchen Witches is a pleasant amusement but don't worry if you forget as soon as you leave the theater.
You will have a good time at Kitchen Witches playing through November 18 at the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main St., Ivoryton. For tickets and information call 860-767-7318 or online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.
This review appears in Shore Publishing Community Newspapers November 14, 2012 and online at Zip06.com.