Comedy Show Comes to Berrie Center

Frank Ferrante provides an evening of cachinnation by impersonating one of the greatest comedians of the modern era, Groucho Marx in “An Evening with Groucho.” Along with his sidekick and pianist Jim Furmston, Ferrante elicits the assistance of his improvisational craftsmanship to keep the show alive and entertaining.

“His skill as a performer is as funny as I remember when I saw him in Seattle,” Shana Weber, an avid theater goer and Frank Ferrante fan, said.

Groucho Marx classics like “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” and “Hooray for Captain Spaulding” were delivered with upmost excellence and attention to detail that mirrored footage of Marx himself. Between the famous tunes, Ferrante shared anecdotes of the other Marx Brothers; Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo are all profiled, which set the tone for an already distinguished show. He delivered stories of Groucho in autobiographical fashion, making the character that much more believable.

“The show was quite good; he has the same humor as Groucho and the same mannerisms,.I would see him again,” Edward Mednick said.

Ferrante did not only rely on Marx material, but he added his own personal twang as a showman to keep the audience on their feet.  More than once, Ferrante went into the crowd and interacted with the audience especially the less than enthused front row. Ferrante leapt onto a prop couch on stage, emitting a cloud of dust which he claimed made the show “Coucho Marx.”

Ferrante played off of the audience well and used them as a tool for his comedy. Scattered claps were called a “Mahwah spattering,” which the engaged audience used to poke fun at Ferrante during the show. Ferrante used his wit to amuse the audience throughout the entirety of the show.

Jim Furmston dazzled onlookers with his talent at the keys of the piano and directed the show with melodic prowess. The silly nature of the show was only embellished by Furmston’s tunes and the way in which he brushed off the bevy of jokes sent his way.

When asked what he likes best about Groucho, Ferrante said “His irreverence, he tells the truth and there is a joy in his work.”

It’s apparent that Ferrante has performed as Groucho Marx for 27 years for he has mastered the many aspects that are needed to play the part effectively. Ferrante and Furmston make for a dually amusing and witty comedy pair.