Jamie Harris and Don Lyons: MV Times file photo
Jamie Harris (left) and Don Lyons, pictured here in a 1990s production of "I'm Not Rappaport," reprise their roles this season. The show opens tomorrow at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. MV Times file photo

Life on a park bench

Posted June 29, 2006

The Island Theater Workshop, Inc. (ITW) will be performing Herb Gardner's comedy hit "I'm Not Rappaport," opening this Friday, June 30. The show stars Don Lyons and Jamie Harris, the same pair who made the 90s performance of this show so successful. Lee Fierro directs the show.

The play centers around two men on a park bench in New York City who disagree, fight, get stoned, and support each other as they struggle with life's circumstances, especially aging. The two characters, Nat and Midge, were quite a departure when introduced on Broadway in 1985. Playwright Gardner examined aging in America through the eyes of the two men. Nat (Don Lyons) has a terrific imagination and tells wonderful stories while Midge (Jamie Harris) takes great pride in being employed at his age.

As the play develops, other characters appear: a college professor, a worried daughter, an art student, a punk, and more. Director Fierro says of one of the characters, "the cowboy defies description." The remainder of the cast includes: Tony Omer, Mary Gould, Jonathan Ryan, Aubrey Gibaric, and Jake Estabrook. Some of these actors are well known to Island audiences, while others are making their stage debut.

The play is called a comedy, but expect more heartwarming moments then belly laughs. Fall in love with Nat and Midge as they live life on a park bench in "I'm Not Rappaport."

"I'm Not Rappaport," June 30, July 1-3, 6-8, 13-15, 7:30 pm, at Katharine Cornell Theatre, Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. Tickets $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students. To make reservations, call 508-693-5290.