dddd Who’s The Boss? fans will get a kick out of Boss: The Untold Tony Danza Story, back for a return engagement at Hollywood Fringe 2015.

Writer Damien Luvara stars as boxer-turned-sitcom star Danza, for whom news of Taxi’s cancellation portends a bleak future ahead, that is if his inability to audition as anyone but “Tony Banta” is any indication.

Meanwhile, unemployed Broadway Tony-winner Judith Light (Summer Shirey) is having just as much trouble as Danza booking her next gig. (No matter that the real Miss Light had won a pair of Daytime Emmys—and not one Tony—at the time.)

Enter The Devil in the person of mob boss Luca Capana (Gabriel Rissa), with a sitcom deal no two desperate actors could possibly refuse.

As to why The Mob wants to back a show called Who’s The Boss?, well it has something to do with product placement—and woe be any actor who might someday want to get out of his or her contract.

Boss is at its funniest in scenes parodying the real Who’s The Boss?, particularly for those who’ve seen the show—I can’t recall ever having watched more than snippets—and the videoed main-title spoof is an inspired hoot.

Much fun is made of (and laughs garnered from) what we know the sitcom’s featured players, in particular Alyssa Milano (Lauren Virginia Albert), whom Boss imagines as an out-of-work hooker, and Danny Pintauro (Edward Kiniry-Ostro), who gives wink-wink hints of the TV twink’s later coming out.

Direction and performances (particularly those of a pitch-perfect Luvara and Shirey) are straight out of Saturday Night Live, and indeed Boss plays like an extended SNL skit on a night that Danza and/or Light might have hosted.

Supporting players Krista Conti, Jordan Rennick, and Todd Stroik have great fun playing assorted wacky cameos, including Conti’s tasty turn as Katherine Helmond.

Bare-boned Fringey in design, Boss: The Untold Tony Danza Story does what it sets out to do—entertain Tony Danza lovers for about an hour. I’m guessing even Tony himself might get a kick out of the show that bears his name.

–Steven Stanley
June 17, 2015