Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Farce still fresh the third time

To paraphrase the old saying, "Third time's a charmer."

That's the deal as Richey Suncoast Theatre fields the Ray Cooney farce Run for Your Wife for its third outing in the area in recent years — and still makes it fresh and funny.

The show was quite well done at Richey Suncoast in 1993 and at Stage West Community Playhouse in 2002, but director Bryan Sarabia and his cast have put enough new spin on the show to make it enjoyable even for those of us who had seen the previous two.

Most noticeable, Sarabia moved the setting from Cooney's London to apartments in New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs, with events happening at Community Hospital and along U.S. 19, people reading the St. Petersburg Times and, perhaps most important, no actor having to struggle to maintain a British accent.

As a result, a situation that can be difficult to follow when it's set in London can be easily tracked (and a lot of fun) when it's transported to local neighborhoods and mentions familiar landmarks.

It also helps that Sarabia's cast comprises seven of the area's best and favorite character actors — many of them Tommy Award winners — plus an eighth who adapts beautifully to the zanies around her.

In the lead is the adoringly discombobulated Bob Marcela (Horace in Hello, Dolly) as John Smith, a nondescript taxi driver who leads a most daring life.

It turns out that for years, John has been sedately married to the very traditional Mary (Joanne Larson, Mrs. Bell in Fame) in New Port Richey, while at the same time being heatedly married to the sexy Barbara (Star Verosic, Appassionata von Climax in Li'l Abner) in Tarpon Springs.

The wives' disparate personalities are immediately telegraphed by set designer Marie Skelton's excellent split stage — Mary with traditional art on blue walls on one side, Barbara with wild abstracts on chartreuse on the other — and costume designers Skelton and Elizabeth Foote's evocative outfits — Mary in dowdy granny gowns, Barbara in skimpy satin teddies.

John juggles the situation well, until one fateful night when he's driving his cab down U.S. 19 and sees a sweet little old lady being mugged by two thugs. He runs to the rescue, gets conked on the head, winds up at Community Hospital and is lauded as a hero in the local newspaper.

Things heat up for him when New Port Richey's tough Detective Throughton (Mark Lewis, Mayor Dawgmeat in Abner) grows suspicious about John's two different addresses, and the more genial Tarpon Springs Detective Porterhouse (Bill Schommer, Handyman in My Husband's Wild Desires) tries to patch up what he thinks is merely a marital dispute.

The situation gets more complicated when John's upstairs buddy, Stanley Gardner (Rich Aront, Mayor Shinn in The Music Man) tries to help out but only makes things worse.

Adding even more humor are Barbara's flamboyantly gay upstairs neighbor, Bobby (Joe Connolly, Everett in Crazy for You), and an overly aggressive reporter (Tim Allen, Evil Eye Fleagle in Abner).

For the most part, the cast handles the challenge of Cooney's rapid-fire, tongue-twisting script with few bobbles, though there were a couple of times on opening night when even the players mixed up which wife was where.

And even though Cooney's plot is all about a blatant adulterer, it's done in such a charming way that it all seems perfectly okay.

If you go

Run for Your Wife, weekends through Nov. 8 at Richey Suncoast Theatre, 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. The shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2:30 p.m. The box office is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and an hour before each show. (727) 842-6777.

Farce still fresh the third time 10/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2009 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five ideas for party foods to bring to your potluck

    Cooking

    What's in a name? That which we call a casserole by any other name is still, well, a casserole. Generally a go-to for potlucks, casseroles are quick and easy to transfer, and they can feed a lot of people. But take a look at your next potluck table and count how many casseroles there are. You can change the game …

    iStockphoto
  2. Florida education news: School budgets, hiring freeze, new schools and more

    Blogs

    IN THE BOOKS: Gov. Rick Scott signs a new Florida Education Funding Program and several other education-related bills into Florida law. This year's new education laws …

    Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 7069 earlier in June, and on Monday added seven more education-related bills to Florida law.
  3. Palm Harbor bicyclist dies from injuries sustained in Bayside Bridge crash

    Accidents

    CLEARWATER — A Palm Harbor bicyclist died from injuries sustained last week when he was struck on the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  4. Kremlin dismisses U.S. warning of chemical attack in Syria (w/video)

    World

    MOSCOW — The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed the White House's warning that the Syrian government is preparing a new chemical attack and that President Bashar Assad and his military "will pay a heavy price" if it goes ahead.

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, third right, prays on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the Nouri Mosque in Hama, Syria, Sunday, June 25, 2017. [SANA via AP]
  5. EU announces record $2.7 billion antitrust fine on Google over search results

    Business

    BRUSSELS — The European Union's antitrust chief announced a record $2.7 billion fine against Google on Tuesday, saying that the powerful company illegally steered users toward its comparison shopping website.

    The European Union's competition watchdog has slapped a record 2.42 billion euro ($2.72 billion) fine on internet giant Google for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service. [Associated Press file photo]