Eastbound Theatre keeps English farce on track
Eastbound Theatre, Milford: Oh, the men with jobs and flexible schedules. They do keep a cast of actors running about in a good English farce. This time, it’s John Smith, a taxi cab driver whose well planned schedule is interrupted when he intervenes in a robbery. Though he acts heroically, he sustains a minor head injury and is taken to the hospital. That’s where his schedule goes haywire and his problems really begin.
Married to two different women, his double life comes precariously close to being revealed as both wives report him missing to the police in their towns. Add to this that when he was in the hospital and groggy from a concussion, he accidentally gave his two different addresses. Both towns, Wimbledon and Streatham are conveniently located for his duplicitous scheme, but when police come calling, Smith enlists the help of his upstairs Wimbledon neighbor Stanley, who unwittingly gets far too involved.
Run for Your Wife by Ray Cooney was first presented in 1983 and a lot has changed regarding social and political correctness since then. John Atkin directs this community theater production with a focus on keeping the humor intact without being offensive and paying attention to the crucial blocking. He succeeds in both areas.The actors have to be in the correct place at the correct time to make this comedy work. Holly Fasciano does a fine job as feisty Mary Smith. Shannon Riccio plays the sexy Barbara Smith and Patrick Kelly plays the center of attention John Smith. Jen Berlin takes on the role of Detective Sergeant Troughton and Nick Kaye plays neighbor Stanley Gardner. Virgil Watson takes on the role of the Newspaper Reporter. He is on and off the stage far too fast. Considering the role, he really needs to milk the moment or return for curtain call with a camera in hand. Also listed in the playbill for that role is Ash Lago.
Barry Alan Hatrick is a frequent actor at Eastbound and really provides the laughter factor in his role as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse. As soon as he dons an apron, he keeps the audience in laughter mode. Everton G. Ricketts as the Streatham upstairs neighbor Bobby Franklyn is over the top with his very colorful portrayal of a gay guy.
Kevin Pelkey has designed the perfect set for this play. Essentially, the stage is divided into two different apartments. However, a couch located center stage is shared by the two apartments. Because the rest of the apartments are different enough, the audience buys into the divided the set.
Accenting the production are Tom Rushen’s sound design and Donald Rowe’s lighting design. Carey Barnes is credited with costume design and Sarah Springer and Ann Baker for props.
Eastbound Theater really shines with its new paint job and a renovated refreshment area in the lower level. Thanks to a grant, the theater has a sparkling new look that is most inviting. This production plays through Feb. 19. Call 203-882-0969 for reservations.
Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association. She welcomes comments. Contact: email@example.com