We were invited to the Southern California living room of the Basil Estate (courtesy of Methacton Community Theater); home of dental floss millionaires Mr. and Mrs. Basil. It seems that Mr. Basil has been murdered and Mrs. Gloria Basil (the always reliable Nancy Kadwill) has summoned harried and disheveled Columbo-like Private Investigator Boise Idaho (Geoff Randall, in a good performance) and his nerdy assistant, Stev (Cliff Reese, a really good character actor) to investigate. No, that’s not a typo, Stev’s parents didn’t understand the use of the silent “e” so Steve became “Stev”.
The suspects are: Mrs. Basil herself – she suspects her husband is having an affair with Jeri Compton (cute and limber Ashley Martin) his private Yoga instructor. She has an unrequited love interest in Mr. Basil, but she insists she has a fiancée and boyfriend named Shirley Jones. Mr. Jones, (a muscular and oddly sunburned Ryan Godman) is the estate’s personal chef who also runs a restaurant that Mr. Basil does not patronize. Neck, (appropriately large and dim witted Jude Adams) Mr. Basil’s bodyguard, stands to inherit millions upon the death of his boss. Add to that the housekeeper Itsy, (Jennifer Weinstein in a huge blonde wig and a bundle of attitude) who has the run of the house and harbors a secret grudge against her employer.
The entire super cast was having a ball, as was the audience. Each one not only ably played in the round (a difficult format indeed) but remained in character all the time while interacting with the audience. Add in a propensity toward remembering the theme songs of TV sitcoms, and you have a recipe for lots of laughs.
After a really fine dinner at the Center Square Golf Club, the audience was asked to guess who dunnit at intermission over a super dessert. At our table I guessed wrong, but my BW (beautiful wife) was spot on. I wouldn’t dare to tell and spoil the fun.
Director Jay Farrelly has made it his mission to produce local playwrights in all five of Methacton’s dinner theater productions. Porter Eidam, III has given the cast a vehicle to plunder for all-out comedy. Not all of the gags work but enough do to make it fun. Director Farrelly has put in some deft touches to amplify the script. So go and have a good dinner and some fun!
BRUSHED, FLOSSED, AND DEAD
by Porter Eidam III
Directed by Jay Farrelly
March 9-18, 2012
Methacton Community Theater
at Center Square Golf Club
2620 Skippack Pike