British farce, MOVE OVER, MRS. MARKHAM sails along beautifully thanks to a talented cast who know how to deliver an ensemble piece. Director Roseann McGrath Brooks has done an outstanding job of matching the actors to their roles and they have repaid her with a lovable, laugh inducing success. The story centers around Mr. and Mrs. Markham (Randy Weinstein and Emma Allison) and their highly desirable flat. Weinstein hits all the right notes with a Philip Markham who is uptight and earnest and more in love with his wife than he realizes. Allison’s Joanna Markham is a solid, believable woman who digs herself deeper and deeper into comic chaos.
Jennifer Fritz Dinan plays a charming, loved starved Linda Lodge, who wants Mrs. Markham to give her the flat for a few hours of naughtiness. Unbeknownst to her, husband Henry Lodge (likeable cad Eric J. Thompson) makes a similar request of Mr. Markham. The ever present presence of interior decorator, excuse me, designer, Alistair Spenlow (Dan Rotz) further complicates matters. Rotz has a way of delivering a line that makes even the most inconsequential comment funny. Attractive distraction, Sylvie, the au pair girl (Mara Felice) adds to the swirl of confusion. Act I sets all the characters and lies upon lies in motion. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything! Prospective paramour Walter Pangbourne (hesitantly daring Kenneth Olin) shows up looking for Linda Lodge. Sexy telephone operator Miss Wilkinson (Samantha Cojocarin) shows up looking for Henry Lodge. Entrances, exits, false identities, misunderstandings, and desperate attempts to make everything appear normal keep the plot and the laughs rolling along. The unexpected appearance of famous authoress Olive Harriet Smythe (Lauri Jacobs) introduces that final note of mayhem. Jacobs has a gift for delivering straight lines and double entendres with convincing sincerity.
Do all the plot lines and relationships resolve themselves? Of course they do. It’s a farce – you know everything is going to work itself out in the end. It is the telling of the tale that keeps the audience smiling. The cast of MOVE OVER, MRS. MARKHAM has its comic timing just right. This show is a warm glow on a winter’s night and is just plain fun to watch!
Show runs through February 5th. Fridays and Saturday show times are at 8pm, Sunday matinees are at 2pm. Footlighters Theater, 58 Main Street, Berwyn, PA 19312. (610) 296-9245
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Disclosure: Anne is associated with Footlighters Theater but had no part in this production other than enjoying the performance on opening night.