‘Happy Birthday’ full of delusion, laughs

Island Players Happy Birthday
Sue Belvo was one of the Bridgits in the play, and she used the confusion caused by her name to make lots of money and a mink posing as a girlfriend while originally being hired as a maid.

ANNA MARIA – The Island Players almost didn’t perform the first show of the season because of Hurricane Irma, but once the storm passed, they reassembled in the spirit that the show must go on.

Director Mike Lusk explained they lost some rehearsals for “Happy Birthday” due to the storm, and actor James Thaggard, who played Robert, held the script in his hand so he could refer to it because opening night was only his fourth read-through.

Despite the stormy distraction, the first performance of the Island Players’ 69th season was a success. With a hilarious script from Mark Camoletti and instinctive timing by the cast, the play was a mixture of visual humor and a funny script.

This play is a sequel to “Boeing Boeing,” a play about an airline pilot who juggles relationships with three flight attendants whose schedules allow him to see each woman while the other two fly.

The Island Players performed that play two years ago and two of the cast members, Travis Rogers and Jennifer Eddy, are in this play.  Rogers reprises his role as Bernard Lawrence, a handsome, smooth talking pilot who is incredibly unfaithful to any one woman. Eddy plays Jacqueline, Bernard’s wife, a different role from the one she performed as a flight attendant in “Boeing Boeing.”

Other cast members include James Thaggard as Robert, Bernard’s friend, who is invited to stay with Bernard and Jacqueline, not knowing that he would be asked to pose as the boyfriend to Brigit, played by Jennifer Caldwell. In truth, Brigit is Bernard’s mistress that he invited to celebrate his birthday behind his wife’s back.

The problem is he hired a maid, also named Brigit, for his birthday party, and she arrived first and was mistakenly assumed to be Robert’s mistress.

Sue Belvo plays this Brigit, and she steals the show as she plays the part of the mistress after both men agree to pay her many times the going rate for a maid.

There were many funny moments in this play, so if you missed “Boeing Boeing,” catch a ticket for “Happy Birthday” by closing on Oct. 1 and you’ll get first-class entertainment.

For tickets, call the box office at 941-778-5755.