“The Portuguese Kid” by John Patrick Shanley
Set to Open May 25 in Quogue
“The Portuguese Kid,” a dizzyingly funny adult comedy from Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley, will conclude the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2022-2023 season, with performances running from May 25 through June 11 at the Quogue Community Hall.
Returning to the romantic-comedy orbit of “Moonstruck,” the hit movie which won Shanley a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, “The Portuguese Kid” spins a marvelous comedic web involving two mismatched couples and one overbearing matron.
In Providence, RI, a habitually widowed Greek temptress named Atalanta Lagana pays a visit to frazzled lawyer and childhood friend Barry Dragonetti, ostensibly intending to clear up her latest late husband’s affairs. Instead of establishing legal clarity, the larger-than-life Atalanta badgers her insecure, self-aggrandizing attorney into imagining a hysterical alternate universe of what-ifs and what-might-have-beens. Add Barry’s impossibly obstreperous Croatian mother Fausta, his sultry young Puerto Rican wife Patty, and Atalanta’s new boy toy – who just happens to be Patty’s ex – and you have in hand a perfect recipe for comic combustion.
“The Portuguese Kid” was originally produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City in September 2017, and featured a cast including Sherie Rene Scott, Jason Alexander, Mary Testa, Aimee Carrero and Pico Alexander. The play was lauded by The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout as “the funniest new comedy I’ve reviewed since … well, maybe ever,” adding, “I don’t know when I last saw another stage comedy that was funny right from the top, or one that whose last scene was so unmanipulatively touching. To laugh this hard for that long is downright therapeutic.”
Entertainment Weekly called the play “uproariously entertaining” and “deliciously funny … ‘The Portuguese Kid’ makes for a wildly entertaining 90 minutes of whip-smart banter.” And NY1 promised, “You will laugh – of that I have no doubt!”
“The Portuguese Kid” features a spirited cast of five, including three HTC veterans. Andrew Botsford (last seen on stage in “A Doll’s House, Part 2”) is Barry; Rosemary Cline (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”) is Atalanta; and Vay David (HTC’s “Other Desert Cities”) plays Fausta Dragonetti. Making their HTC stage debuts are David Cardali as Atalanta’s young boyfriend Freddie Imbrossi, and Esmeralda Cabrera as Patty Dragonetti.
Bob Kaplan (HTC’s “Mauritius” and “Glengarry Glenn Ross”) directs; Laurie Atlas (recently on stage in HTC’s “The Lifespan of a Fact”) is the producer. Set design is by Mr. Kaplan and Ricky Bottenus; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.
Performances of “The Portuguese Kid” will run from May 25 through June 11 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8, and Sundays at 2:30. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, June 10 at 2:30, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. Note: This adult comedy contains strong language; viewer discretion is advised.
Two “talkbacks” with the cast will be offered to ticketholders immediately following the June 2 and June 9 Friday-evening performances.
Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under, and are available at hamptontheatre.org or by calling 631-653-8955.