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The Orphans’ ‘On the House’ is off the wall

Originally produced in 2004, Ryan Landry’s uproarious reinterpretation of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is even funnier the second time around.

Originally produced in 2004, Ryan Landry’s uproarious reinterpretation of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is even funnier the second time around. The title of Landry’s production, “Pussy on the House,” is the first not-so-subtle hint that his Gold Dust Orphans are having fun here.

Though they have dispensed with most of their trademark sight gags, gimmickry and double entendres for this production, their tongue-in-cheek, gender-bending fare works equally well as a — ahem — straight play.

The drop-dead seriousness with which each of the actors work is what makes this one of Landry’s best works to date. As Maggie, Orphan mainstay Penny Champayne is a perfect blend of pouty, breathy and ladylike while desperately scheming to hang onto her fortune.

Looking like Paula Dean and sounding like Maxwell Smart, Larry Coen’s ailing Big Mamma is sheer comic brilliance. And despite her rough exterior, Mamma’s unspoken affection for Sukie (an always delightful Landry) warms your heart.

 
 
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