Have you ever felt trapped? The Hollander family in Park View's production of "Don't Drink the Water" by Woody Allen certainly did.
Stuck in the American embassy of a communist country with Axel Magee (Jeff Caplan), the delinquent son of the ambassador, a refugee "Houdini" priest, and a chef who takes his job way too seriously, the Hollanders are pursued by the communist police who have surrounded the embassy because they think the Hollanders are spies. Only the most brilliant of escape plans can succeed in allowing the three Hollanders, Walter (Nick Aliff), his wife Marion (Cerissa Hontiveros), and daughter Susan (Amy Shields) to escape and return to their New Jersey home. Hontiveros played a believable mother and wife to the somewhat obnoxious, Woody Allen-like character Walter. Magic tricks, romance and petty quarreling between Mr. and Mrs. Hollander create some interesting complications in the plot.
Some lines were lost when actors did not wait for the audience laughter to abate. However, Hontiveros delivered her lines articulately and seemed to always wait for the laughter to subside. Aliff's performance was one of the most energized in the cast. Father Drobney (Jaime Chahine) added a nice comical color to the show with his Slavic accent and amateurish magic tricks, and the Chef (Zaki Albarzinji) brought out the laughs as well. Axel Magee (Jeff Caplan) managed to get the audience's sympathy as the bumbling but lovable "failure" of the diplomatic corps.
The set, designed by Ed Hicks and Jason Weller, was impressive. They reconstructed the look and feel of an embassy with realistic office props and a back hallway that gave depth to the set.
Though the energy was somewhat flat, it was, nevertheless, an enjoyable performance.