A ruthless Tina played by Laura Mixon (left) knows she was born to be a star. Mom, played by Taffy McCarthy, agrees. Can murder be far behind? Photo by Ralph Stewart

Dying for a part

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - June 15, 2006

The Island Theatre Workshop brings the hilarious musical "Ruthless" to Outerland for the venue's first theatrical production. The off-Broadway smash hit will open here tonight, directed by Kaf Warman with musical direction by Peter Hutchings. The cast includes Jamie Alley (in drag), Taffy McCarthy, Chelsea McCarthy, Shelly Brown, Melissa Grassia, and Laura Mixon.

The musical attained a cult-like following after it opened off-Broadway in 1993. The rave reviews poured in and so did the audiences, filling the seats and laughing until their sides hurt. That year "Ruthless" won the New York Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The show is written by Joel Paley with music by Marvin Laird.

According to Ms. Warman, if you like old movies such as "The Bad Seed," "All About Eve," and "Gypsy," you will love "Ruthless." The story is about eight-year-old Tina Denmark who will do anything to get the part of Pippi Longstocking in her school musical. Tina just isn't happy being the understudy, so she murders her competition and the fun begins. A young Brittney Spears played the role of Tina in the original production.

Why not jump-start the summer season with a good laugh? "Ruthless" will run for two weekends. You can order food and drinks, or just watch the show.

"Ruthless" June 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25, 7 pm, Outerland, Airport Road, Edgartown. Island Theatre Workshop Directed by Kaf Warman, music direction by Peter Hutchings. $20. Food and beverages additional. 508-693-0950.