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Rabble-rousing 'Brothers!' run amok

New Sutter Street play gets chuckles
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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The talented cast that earned rave reviews for last year’s “Escanaba in da Moonlight” earns plenty of laughs in their latest production, “Brothers.” Set in a dilapidated cabin in the woods, “Brothers” follows three siblings, each with their own quirks and faults. Mike Jimena takes the lead as scene chewing Frank Conley, the oldest of the three boys. Ron Randolph, as the level headed Peter Conley, gives a commanding performance once again. Stan Bautista, the scene-stealing Jimmer from “Escanaba,” did a nice turn as “slow” brother Wally Conley. Slapstick antics pepper the play with pratfalls, pranks and potty humor. The brothers are required to spend one weekend together each year for 10 years as a sort of family reunion if they want to reap the rewards of their inheritance, the conditions stipulated in their father’s will. Frank, at 55, is the hothead, barely able to contain his temper. He’s a hard-drinking man with a foul mouth. Peter, 45, is a plastic surgeon and is often at the mercy of his older brother’s rants. Wally is 40 and rides a motorcycle. That’s really about all you need to know. For two hours on stage, the brothers go at each other during their last weekend together. Kicking, hitting, spitting, choking and lots of free-flowing alcohol fuel the frenetic fraternal weekend. As someone with a brother, some of the jokes really hit home for me. The Chaddock boys, as we were called, often ended up in fisticuffs at the bus stop, in the backyard, in the house or, really, about anyplace we were left alone too long together. We mix like oil and water. Despite our identical upbringing, he’s a tattooed truck driver and I’m a newspaper editor. Go figure. But, I digress. Let’s get back to the play. Steve Read plays The Ranger, a role he also did in “Escanaba.” The similarities between the two plays are almost impossible to ignore. A remote cabin? Check. Annual men-only family gathering in the cabin? Check. A goal for that gathering featured in the play? Check. Hmmm. This play, while similar to “Escanaba,” stands on its own merits. But, I will say that “Escanaba” had heart while “Brothers” seems to be missing a few beats. There are still two weekends remaining to see the play, running through Feb. 6, so get out there and form your own opinion. Getting a chance to see these actors together again is worth the price of admission. On a side note, I have to thank Briggs Ranch resident Patti Riggin for watching our 1-year-old son Liam so my wife and I could see the play. Reader reviews are welcome and may be posted online at edhtelegraph.com or folsomtelegraph.com under the “myTelegraph” section on the right hand side of the Web site. KNOW AND GO WHAT: “Brothers!” by Dave Williams WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 6 WHERE: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom COST: $23 general, $21 seniors and SARTA, $18 children INFO: 353-1001 RATING: 3.5 stars (out of 5)