City Savors second serving of comedy ‘Triple Espresso”
Des Moines Register
November 6, 2006
The coffee-laced comedy juggernaut “Triple Espresso,” which ran for 68 weeks its first time in town, is back. Some fans had a bit of a caffeine addiction the first time the show was in Des Moines.”Triple Espresso” is scheduled to play through Dec. 31 at the Temple for Performing Arts.
Because the audience interaction varies each night, they saw the slapstick-filled show several times, returning for a reliable laugh.
During intermission, I overheard a few of those people compare the number of performances they’ve seen.
Set in a coffee shop, “Triple Espresso” is the reunion of a bitterly broken apart comedic trio: Maxwell, Butternut and Bean. They rediscover their old bits, sing the greatest hits of the ’70s and argue tediously about old times. The show is best described as pleasant comedic fluff, fun but with as much bite as a steaming cup of milk.
A few of the bits still killed me the second time around – shadow puppets, I’m talking to you.
Still, while “Triple Espresso” isn’t a show I’d run back to for more, I found myself sitting in the audience thinking: “Mom would love this.” “Dad would love this.” “Why didn’t I bring my grandparents along for this?” In short, the show is family-proof.
You can feel safe that anyone you bring to the show to kill a couple of hours during the holidays is going to chuckle his or her way through it. It is as well-produced and staged as any show you’ll find locally, and it feels as if it has money behind it. It does – the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines is the producer.
Two of the actors in the show are from the original Temple cast – John Bush and Patrick Albanese.
Both are excellent, as always, in their roles. Bush is Bobby Bean, the goofy nitwit of a folk singer who at his funniest point berates the audience into singing “Home on the Range.”
Albanese plays the misanthropic magician, Buzz Maxwell, skilled at sleight of hand and sarcastic comments. He comes out swinging when he calls the three-man act a “slow, five-year donkey ride to disaster.”
The third performer, Paul Somers as Hugh Butternut, anchors the show as an earnest lounge singer act, funniest when he suffers a complete nervous breakdown.
It makes you wonder how great Tom Jones could be if he completely lost his mind.
The plot is beside the point. It serves as a vehicle to show the performers’ many acts and considerable talents at magic, song and physical comedy. If Mom’s looking bored, there are many, many worse things you could do than buy tickets.