CAUGHT IN THE NET: A Rip-Roaring Good Time at Playcrafters

by Kelly Thunstrom
Lisa Gazzillo as Mary Smith, Eric Rupp as Stanley Gardner, Zane Rutter as Gavin Smith.

Lisa Gazzillo as Mary Smith, Eric Rupp as Stanley Gardner, Zane Rutter as Gavin Smith.

On a week when temperatures soared, the humidity was like soup, and some type of storm occurred every day, you couldn’t ask for a better escape than seeing Playcrafters’ CAUGHT IN THE NET. Directed by Gay Hoyle, this play is the sequel to Ray Cooney’s RUN FOR YOUR WIFE and takes place 16 years later. I am not exaggerating when I say that much of the full house was practically keeled over and wiping their eyes from laughter.

The set of CAUGHT IN THE NET features 6 doors (yes, you read that correctly); therefore, you know that there will be a lot of slamming and knocking going on. I was hesitant when I found out that one couch and one set (separated only by different styles of wallpaper) were supposed to signify two different homes, as I thought things would get very confusing. However, it works tremendously well and is completely justified with what takes place in the play.

Because, you see, John Smith (Anthony Marsala) is a bigamist, having two separate wives and two separate kids in two separate English towns. Barbara (Laura Shapella) is the mother of Gavin (Zane Rutter), and Mary (Lisa Gazzillo) is the mom of Vicki (Erin Tiffany). When Gavin and Vicki start chatting over the internet and want to meet in real life (not knowing that they are half brother and sister, of course), John does EVERYTHING in his power to stop them from meeting (and therefore exposing his bigamist ways). Of course, he can’t do it alone; his lodger and best friend, Stanley (Eric Rupp), tries to help him sort things out, which of course leads to a million misunderstandings and lies.  Poor Stanley…all he wanted to do today was go on “holiday” with his Dad (Ed Rutter).

Anthony Marsala as John Smith.

Anthony Marsala as John Smith.

Pacing is everything in a farce, and these seven actors do it extraordinarily well. They have their timing down flat and work off each other beautifully. Marsala, Gazzillo, and Rupp are especially hilarious in scenes they are in together. Rupp, as the bumbling Stanley who keeps building on his lies, and Ed Rutter, as his father who thinks he’s in a hotel, had the audience in hysterics. Shapella, Tiffany, and Zane Rutter were also very effective in their roles; I especially loved their first scene on the couch with Gazzillo.

If you go (and you should), be prepared to laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. This is one net you’ll want to be caught in!

by Ray Cooney
Directed by Gay Hoyle
June 27 – July 13, 2013
Playcrafters of Skippack
2011 Store Road<
Skippack, PA

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