by Lisa Panzer

Head over to DCP Theatre to catch a late summer wave of laughter with UNNECESSARY FARCE. Hilarity reigns in this finely crafted farce full of artfully done horseplay and bedroom bedlam by Paul Slade Smith. As directed by Beth Cohen this show pairs puns, pranks and pratfalls, eight room doors relative to adjoining budget motel rooms, with a cast of 7 well played, zany characters, mismatched identities, and multiple faux pas to the delight of the audience. Two klutzy cops are assigned, undercover, to uncover government embezzlement by way of videotaping the room next door where the mayor is to meet his pretty accountant, but complications quickly arise, and things start to get hot!

Terrific timing, zippy one liners, and carefully executed chaos on the part of cast and crew make for a winning combination in this production. The play opens with Officer Eric Sheridan, well played by John Weber, telling a near naked lie to his police chief, over the phone, while in his boxer shorts. More silliness ensues when his partner, Officer Billie Dwyer, delightfully done by Marianne Dell’Aquila, enters dressed in her police uniform, armed with a water pistol and a plate of donuts, for a sting operation. The out-and-out looks and comments Dell’Aquila gives while munching crullers and witnessing the goings on in the next room via video monitor, which is also being taped, cause wall to wall tittering throughout the house, and she gets better as things get worse… The accountant, Karen Brown, is charmingly portrayed by Christine Martuscello, who lends her character believable intelligence, but Brown’s brightness is eclipsed by circumstances beyond both bedrooms. Mark Shule adds much mirth, along with marvelous sanguine expressions and awesome laugh to his character, Mayor Meekly, whose office in the play seems to be show up at precisely the wrong place at the right time. Mrs. Meekly, depicted sweetly by Jan Thompson, goes through some changes later in the show, which showcase Jan as quite an adept actress. The mayor’s security man, fastidious Agent Frank, unflappably rendered by Scott Grande, moonlights in other capacities, helping to confuse the action, and constantly crack-up the audience. Ray Greenley as bagpipe toting, kilt wearing killer, Todd, is supremely, and absurdly, funny! Smoothly executed tech, particularly the lighting (Noah Baliles and David Williams) and a well built, pristine set (Kent Gerhart), highlight the talents of actors, director and crew.

UNNECESSARY FARCE is a gem of the absurd; a tour de force of farce, with a sweet love story and a positive, and happy ending. Let your belly laugh dance, your eyes grow wide at surprise, crinkle with merriment, and relax from reality for a while at:

by Paul Slade Smith
Directed by Beth Cohen
September 5 – 20, 2014
DCP Theatre
795 Ridge Road
Telford, PA 18969


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