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Bread and Butter

Review by Steve Desroches

It isn’t hard to imagine that on the day, whenever in ancient times it was, that the very first concept of theater was conceived that soon thereafter someone thought they could make something off it, like money had that even been invented yet. The tension between art and commerce is an age old battle. What is more important? Imagination and integrity or that any work of art makes money, and in this day and age not just a profit, but a mega-profit. That’s at the core of the Harbor Stage Company’s 2023 season opener Bread & Butter, a delightful comedic ramble through the slings and arrows of what it takes to get a show on Broadway, and then be able to pay the bills. A loose adaptation written by Brenda Withers of George S. Kaufman’s 1925 play The Butter and Egg Man the action of Bread & Butter remains in the Roaring Twenties in New York City with stressed and broke producer Mr. Becker looking for a hit and his trusty, yet beleaguered assistant Mac an aspiring playwright looking for her big break as they both are haunted by the ditzy actress Francesca O’Toole who wants to be paid for her lackluster talents. But for any of that happen they need cash, and a lot of it. Enter Peter Jones, a simpleton with a fat wallet from Ohio who just rolled into the Big Apple on a bus just ripe for the picking. Withers, who directed the production and stars as Mac, presents a fun and sharp swirl of a story as the narrative spins in a circular fashion with the champions and the chumps changing roles in a dizzying fashion as Fritichie, a bar tender passionate about the stage appears to further spin the comedic pinwheel.

When it comes to the gamble that is theater, that is the chance that all of the hard collaborative work that it takes to put on a production will be a success, there is no safer investment than the Harbor Stage Company. All of the performances by the cast are top notch, with David Fraioli as the live wire Becker, Amie Lytle as the struggling yet overconfident delusional wannabe ingenue Francesca, Robin Bloodworth as the sweet rube Peter Jones, and Ari Lew as the alliterative Fritchie who saves the day. With an appropriately cartoonish set by Evan Farley, the production is a smart and satisfying hour and fifteen minute ride down the slide of a helter skelter of a story. It’s also timely as modern Broadway struggles with the themes inherent in the story as today the single act of writing a check can count as a production credit meaning whatever wins Best Play at the Tony Awards celebrates not just the artistic work, but also rewards those that did nothing more than make a wise investment. One hundred years away from the origin of the narrative Bread & Butter will have you grinning from start to finish.

Bread & Butter runs at Harbor Stage Company, 12 Kendrick Ave., Wellfleet Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 5 p.m. (with an added performance Wednesday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m.) through July 8. Tickets ($25) are available at the box office and online at For more information call 508.349.6800.

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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