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'The Fisherman's Wife' a fun time for children


There's something fishy going on at the Annapolis Dinner Theatre on Saturday mornings.

Every time the kids in the audience chant "Sneakers and slime and a moldy old muffin . . .," a strange, scaly creature appears, flapping his mouth even faster than he flips his fins!

And when this fish talked, was it a Yiddish accent I heard?

And why would Bernice, the semi-lovely spouse of Julius the Fisherman, want to live out her dreams by becoming . . . er . . . county executive?

Yup. You guessed it. Under the Hood Productions is at it again, as playwright Duncan Hood has worked warped magic on "The Fisherman's Wife."

This is the familiar tale of the ne'er-do-well waterman whose release of a captured fish nets him three wishes, which he proceeds to squander on his shrewish wife.

"The Fisherman's Wife" plays at 11 o'clock Saturday mornings at the Annapolis Dinner Theatre through Oct. 15.

This time around, there is less "Naked Gun"-style humor than in "Rapunzel" and "Rumpelstiltskin," Mr. Hood's other plays.

And that permits a bit more character development by the excellent four-member cast.

Still, the successful formula survives. Kids are encouraged to participate at many points in the show, which, of course, helps hold their attention.

The actors are first-class, especially Debbie Barber in the kvetchy title role. Theatrically, little kids deserve the best and they get it here.

The Hood sense of whimsy is as goofy as ever: "Oy, a fish can get such a headache," says the hilarious Scott Nichols as the daffy denizen of the deep.

The feisty Jim Newcomb is a riot as the Fisherman and newcomer Donna Revelle is a charmer as Charlene, the sister-in-law who kisses her fish and becomes a princess -- but not in the manner you think!

In sum, there is precious little to carp about -- no barbs to throw -- since "The Fisherman's Wife" is one of the cutest children's shows I've seen come down the pike. For only 9 clams ($8.95 actually) you get the show, a slice of pizza, ice cream and, oh yes, a pitcher of soda thrown in for the halibut.

No you're not hard of herring. This is a great deal. A fun show and no financial haddocks. Just take a moment and mullet over.

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