VIAGRA FALLS by Lou Cutell & Joao Machado

VIAGRA FALLS: A Comedy Stage Play by Lou Cutell and Joa Machado. Directed by Don Crichton. The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Indian Wells Theater is at 37-500 Cook Street, entering off Berger Drive West (between Gerald Ford and Frank Sinatra). For show information, call (760) 341-2805. Open-ended run through April 2009.

A ROLLICKING, RISQUE, RIBALD ROMP

“Viagra Falls” is a charming, three character, 90-minute naughty romp that returns to the Indian Wells Theatre where its 2007 world premiere attracted appreciative audiences and word of mouth spread its fame throughout the Desert Region. Since then it has enjoyed a successful run on the road in Canada and the United States. All three actors are consummate professionals with impressive stage, TV and movie credentials. This production is as fresh and pleasing as the opening night with Don Jacob replacing the indisposed Harold Gould.

It is an ensemble production and although in the original cast, Harold Gould was the most recognizable member, Jacob’s performance is equally adept and adds a touch of blue-collar mentality that is perfect for the part as written. Then too, he integrates perfectly with Lou Cutell and Teresa Ganzel under Crichton’s choreographic direction that keeps the action moving forward at a fast clip with appropriate pregnant pauses when the ribald double entendres bring laughs and understanding guffaws from the audience. Interspersed with the action, the authors have included quiet moments that add a touch of pathos defining inner thoughts of the male characters.

Charley Millhouse (Lou Cutell) and Moe Crubbs (Don Jacob), old widowers are upstairs and downstairs neighbors in a Sunnyside, Queens, New York apartment building. They are inseparable and further bonded after Moe saved Charley’s life during the Korean War. What do you give your best friend, Charley, on his 77th birthday? Moe arrives with the proverbial cake and balloons. Charley has other ideas that involve a stash of blue Viagra pills secreted in an aspirin bottle. Charley, for reasons we learn latter, wants to give the reticent Moe a “night to remember” that involves taking one of the blue pills and enjoying an erotic evening with a couple of hookers who advertise on the internet that they cater to men over 60. It’s a hard and humorous sell that takes up the first third of the play. Moe’s attachment to his deceased wife’s memory prevents him from being enthusiastic about such an arrangement.

Moe has second and third thoughts when only one girl, Jacqueline Tempest (tall, beautiful, buxom Teresa Ganzel), a $100 per hour happy-hooker arrives assuring them she is enough girl for both of them. Charley’s social security check money does not cover the total amount and there is a laugh aloud scene as the two men scramble to make up the difference and come up a quarter short. Big-hearted Jacqueline declines the last quarter with a sexy “My treat.” Ganzel’s performance is a treat to behold as she shows spot-on timing with her sexy, funny, sympathetic lines to match Cutell and Jacob. Moe capitulates and follows Jacqueline into the bedroom. (Lights out). He returns from the bedroom with a new vigor that makes life worthwhile.

There is a dramatic twist to this tale, that will not be revealed here, that may bring a tear to your eye, as it held the Thursday night audience in attentive silence. Moe and Charley are perfect foils for each other and Jacob and Cutell are extremely facile breathing life into their characters making them memorable. By the end of the show, the on stage personae have progressed to being believable and psychologically understandable as real people.


There is a lot more to this play than a ribald romp and older members of the audience will identify with many of the prophetic lines concerning love, marriage, aging and become more appreciative of pharmaceutical advances that extend life’s pleasure. Highly recommended.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

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