Review: THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP
By Tom Hantzarides GET OUT! South Florida

Friends kept telling me that I would love Island City Stage’s production of The Mystery of Irma
Vep. They had seen the play elsewhere and, after all, at one point it was the most produced play
in America.

Werewolves, vampires, mummies, ghosts and two actors – both male – who play all eight
characters in the play. It is clever and slapstick. Veteran Bruce Linser plays Lord Edgar
Hillcrest…and Jane Twisden (the housekeeper)…and an intruder…and….Irma Vep? Larry
Buzzeo is another four characters as Lady Enid, Nicodemus, a hilarious Egyptian name Pev
Amri, and a resurrected Egyptian princess (you gotta see this). What the cast does is brilliant as
they continuously switch characters. Congrats to the staff behind the scenes. In one hysterical
scene Buzzeo plays both Lady Enid and Nicodemus at the same time. With nods to Cher, Lady
Gaga, Shakespeare, Psycho and even The Matrix, and other modernizations, The Mystery of Irma
Vep script remains true to the original play. The English manor scenery (I love the matching
drapes) is impressive and most important for this play, extremely functional and creative.

As the various characters, both Linser and Buzzeo, or is it Buzzeo and Linser, are wonderful, as
always. Rogow’s direction keeps the timing and pace of the play going at a fast clip. With not
much live theater being performed at this time of year, The Mystery of Irma Vep will give you a
couple of hours of a great live performance with a lot of laughs.