Mistakes Were Made -- But None Were Made Here

By Bob and Karen Isaacs

After a hearty chunk of theater -- a three play cycle by Horton Foote with a bevy of actors -- the Hartford Stage Company is producing a 90 minute comedy with a single performer that will have you laughing all the way.  Rest assured that Mistakes Were Made featuring the talent of Will LeBow is a comic tour de force in which LeBow keeps you almost falling out of your seat with laughter.

Written by Craig Wright and directed by Jeremy B. Cohen this is another laugh a minute satire on the theater and its shenanigans, especially from the standpoint of a producer who is attempting to mount a new play on Broadway.

Felix Artifex (LeBow) is a lowbrow theatrical producer noted for his production of Medea with Suzanne Somers. Felix is now attempting to produce his first world premiere, Mistakes Were Made, an epic of the French Revolution.  If he can pull this off it will be a personal and professional redemption.

For the entire 90 minutes we are closeted with Felix in his office as he attempts to line up a famous Hollywood actor for the main role. But among other things, the actor insists on some changes not in the original play and so Felix needs to converse with the playwright and discuss with him the changes, which Felix describes as minor and which his explanation of indicates he has no understanding at all of what the play or playwright is attempting to do or say.  In fact one of the funniest lines in his persuasive efforts is his consistent mistaken identification of Robespierre as Pierre and his brushing off the correction with a shrug.

But there's a lot more to this play than that continuous gag. There are constant interruptions from his secretary -- heard but not seen -- Esther, deliciously and frantically presented by Susan Greenhill who attempts to keep the lines untangled while warning Felix of incoming calls and ultimately telling him -- uselessly -- not to feed the wonderful anthropomorphic goldfish, Denise, brought to life by puppeteer Stephano Brancato that occupies a large section of the front of the stage.  The result is that you are often distracted by the antics of the fish just as everything else in the play distracts from what Felix, tangled up in telephone lines, is futilely attempting.

Walt Spangler designed the perfect setting, and Alejo Vietti did LeBow's costume.

Rest assured that you will make no mistake in making your way to Hartford stage Company for this delightful production of Mistakes Were Made featuring the wonderful talents of Felix LeBow. You will certainly marvel at his ability to present his monologue over the length of the play.  It's no wonder that the audience gives LeBow a roaring standing ovation at the conclusion.

The hilarious Mistakes Were Made is at Hartford Stage Company, 50 Church St., in downtown Hartford through Nov. 22. For tickets and information call the box office at 860-527-5151 or online at hartfordstage.org.


This review appeared in Shore Publications.

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