If looks — or thoughts — could kill, most of the cast of "Killjoy" would be on the floor before the end of Act I in this darkly comic revival at the Newport Theater Arts Center. And the audience would die laughing.
Playwright Jerry Mayer — who's written for such television classics as "M*A*S*H," "All in the Family" and the Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore shows — turned to playwriting late in his career and this script, with its plethora of punch lines, reflects its TV sitcom heritage.
There's really only one sympathetic character here, and she's entertaining thoughts of disposing of her blustering ex-husband, the owner of an Italian restaurant who's dumped her after two decades of wedlock and taken on a preening trophy wife.
All is not as it seems here, however, including both plot and characters.
The skills of director Gigi Fusco Meese are put to the test in this twisting and turning comedy with murder in the air. Meese has assembled a sharply honed cast which excels at the war of words, even if troubled by more than the usual quantity of opening night line fluffs.