Billed as a comedy-drama, Mafia Daughter
is neither the outrageous spoof that I expected (past TOTS' titles include Die! Mommie! Die!
, Evil Dead: The Musical
) or a grizzly mob bio in the vein of Godfather
. Writer/director Michael J.Ferruzza mixes colorful characters from his family tree with movie stereotypes that we warm to slowly but not deeply. Ferruzza is Vincent Angelina, the Italian-quoting don who is wise enough to know his daughter would be a better boss than either of his two sons. One longs to be an actor; the other is just dumb, as evidenced by his terrible toupee. As daughter Angelica Angelina, Erin Cohenour transforms from mob princess to ringleader mostly by thickening her New York accent and shifting from bobby socks to miniskirts to pinstripe trousers. Here, costumes make or break characters, like the chatty neighbor who is campaigning hard - in widow's weeds, sensible shoes and a grey bun - to be Vincent's second wife. The family enemy, an IRS agent, loses all threat in his shiny brown wig. Without raw emotions or real menace, Mafia Daughter
is enjoyable mostly for occasional successful details: Cohenour's model hair and figure, Ferruzza's raspy voice and wandering eyeballs, Dannon Crews' (son No. 2) gentle presence amid thuggery, and the fondly familiar hard consonants of the wannabe wife played by Adrienne Reiswerg. Through June 6; 317-685-TOTS.