Deb Gottesman and Claire Schoonover let ‘er rip as dueling retirees in Keegan’s rollicking “Ripcord”
David Lindsay-Abaire’s raucous farce Ripcord might be about the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or the origin of one nasty feud, depending on whether anyone’s left standing when this duel of pranks finally comes to an end.
Director Megan Thrift and her game cast make an amusing and heartwarming Scrooge-style tale of Lindsay-Abaire’s odd-couple comedy, now in a regional premiere production at Keegan Theatre. Led by Deb Gottesman’s gloriously grumpy Abby and Claire Schoonover’s unassailably sunny Marilyn, the play develops a seaworthy balance between the ladies’ often vicious ribbing, and the obvious relationship-building that proceeds no matter how hard Abby tries to fight it.
Schoonover carries off Marilyn’s perpetual sunniness and Doris Day hairdo with aplomb, while a marvelous Gottesman manages to keep Abby’s blooming heart so well-concealed as to actually create suspense about where this escalating prank war is so clearly heading. Both ladies adroitly navigate the play’s turns between Golden Girls banter and tear-jerking revelations, with able assists from Jared Shamberger as facility orderly Scotty and Kari Ginsburg as Marilyn’s daughter Colleen.