‘Spreading it Around’ Meadow Brook Theatre

The Michigan premiere of “Spreading It Around,” a dramatic comedy from the mind of Londos D’Arrigo, opened at Meadow Brook Theatre Saturday night. The play revolves around Angela “Angie” Drayton, a widow living in a contemporary gated community in Florida as she struggles to do the right thing with her money. Throughout the play Angie (played by Mary Robin Roth) grows as a person and deals with many problems, the main one being the issue of inheritance.

The play is performed entirely within an intricately decorated and designed cross section of Angie’s house. Complete with living room, dining room and sunroom, the house is littered with typical Floridan furniture and decorations, such as ocean breeze chairs and a pineapple shaped pillow. While the set is incredibly detailed, its true beauty lies in the open design of the sunroom. Lending part of the stage to a backyard area, the sunroom provides the actors with an entrance/exit point and gives the audience a sense of what can and cannot be heard beyond the doors.

The costumes are also impressive. Each character undergoes at least four costume changes. From a full tuxedo, to a stunning purple summer dress, the costumes are colorful and engaging, but also speak to the mood of the character at that point in time.

Angie’s main confidant is her handyman neighbor, Martin (Michael Gillespie), a widower who fixes her appliances and appears to have all of the widows of their community smitten with him. Angie’s greedy son, Larry (Eric Gutman) and his eccentric wife, Traci (Janet Caine) add serious fuel to the performance right away, instigating a change in mood with their initial appearance in the first act.

While the play is very dramatic, its comedic moments are ever present and blend in nicely. The title of the play references money and its explanation is revealed in a very funny way at the end of the first scene.

All five actors play their part and have their own entertaining comedic moments, but Caine’s take on Traci is what stands out. Whether slapping Larry around or texting and applying makeup, Caine provides the audience with a modern take on a character who is both antagonist and comedic relief, while most of the scenes involving Traci are memorable (her facial expressions alone caused fits of laughter), the best scene comes in the middle of the play when Traci reacts to a conversation she overhears out of context.

Before seeing the performance, theatre-goers can learn from various posters lining the hallway that provide information or fun facts pertaining to the play. One of the posters lists celebrities who “spread it around,” while another has pictures of expensive gated communities around the country, three of which are in Florida. Also included is a poster listing information on the play’s writer, Londos D’Arrigo.

“Spreading It Around” is immensely entertaining because it rolls through each scene, smoothly throwing out sexual innuendo and life lessons while leaving the audience with a desire for more. The ending has a surprise twist and is capped off by a dancing number that can only be smiled


“The show is more than the picture on the flier, it has so many layers. It’s a fun show and I know a lot of people will enjoy it,” Gutman said.

If the opening night’s uproarious applause at the end of the show is any indication, Gutman is right on the money.

To purchase tickets or to learn more about the show, visit www.mbtheatre.com

Contact staff intern Mark McMillan via email at [email protected]