Moliere’s ‘Scapino’ brought into 21st century at Gulfshore Playhouse

Sleazy lawyers. Romance in the sun. Even the thought of mafia types making their way to sunny Naples seems believable in the latest offering from Gulfshore Playhouse.

“Scapino” — a Southwest Florida take on the French playwright Molière’s play of nearly 350 years ago — seems ambitious enough. Jeffrey Binder, associate artistic director of Gulfshore Playhouse, adapted Molière’s classic with quick-hit comedic daggers for audience members, who roared throughout Saturday’s opening night performance.

The play remains in Naples throughout, beginning with Octavio (played by Jack Berenholtz) lamenting how his father, mafioso family head Don Albert (Gerritt Vandermeer), wants him to marry the daughter of another don, as in Don Geronte (Larry Paulsen).

Berenholtz creates a hybrid Tony Danza-meets-Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta’s character in the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter”). He tells his tale with his assistant Sylvester (Phillip Taratula) nearby.

Dave Osborn
Naples Daily News

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