Fort Myers News-Press
March 14, 2007
Section: Gulf Coasting South
Charles Runnells Staff
Compton & Bennett's latest targets the region
Grannies in Cadillacs. Dyslexic tattoo artists. A drunken Sesame Street character named "Pickle Me Elmo." Nothing's sacred in the new Compton & Bennett revue, "A Cracker at The Ritz."
Once again, the satiric duo take aim at Southwest Florida and beyond, squeezing humor out of everything from Ave Maria University to getting a V.D. on spring break.
"Remember," says co-writer Rick Compton, riffing off the Las Vegas catchphrase, "everything that happens at Fort Myers Beach ... can be cured back home."
Compton and partner Betsy Bennett mix vignettes with original songs such as "Our Sweet Euro-Cracker Home" and "I Got That Lovin'-It-In-Naples-But-Remind-Me-Why-I-Stay-Here Blues."
"Cracker" takes its cue from classic fish-out-of-water stories, including "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" and "The Beverly Hillbillies."
In this update, a Florida cracker got rich after his family sold its Naples land to make way for the Ritz-Carlton. Decades later, he shows up at the high-toned hotel and tries to mix with its equally high-toned clientele.
Compton and Bennett play a series of characters, including the nicotine-soaked Naomi and Ariel, who talked about her new Hillary Clinton wind chimes. "When the wind blows through it," she said, "it's so loud and shrill it drowns out the other wind chimes."