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Saturday, July 21, 2007

At It Again

When I heard originally that Spotlight Theatre was going to be running Ray Cooney's hilarious farce, Run For Your Wife, back-to-back with its sequel, Caught In the Net, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Generate an audience for the inferior sequel by preceding it with the original. Spotlight artistic director Pat Payne, in addition to being a very clever director, has a real genius for marketing. In fact, I purchased my ticket for the sequel the very night that I saw Run For Your Wife because Pat shrewdly offered a discount for pre-sales.
I walked into the West Colfax E-vent Center last night, pre-sold ticket in hand, quite content with my bargain, and fully prepared to enjoy myself. It wasn't going to be as good as the original - sequels never are - but I was sure that it would be fun.
Well, like the old saying goes, "when you presume, you make a pres out of u and . . ." no, that's not right . . . Well, anyway, Caught In The Net is far from inferior. It is at least as brilliant as its predecessor if not more.
I don't know how to explain this phenomenon, except to hypothesize that all parties involved must have simply "caught their stride." Playwright Ray Cooney has raised the level of hilarity to almost breakneck levels. Director Pat Payne has honed the comic timing down to a razor-sharp edge. Bernie Cardell now so embodies the manic, quick-witted, polygamist John Smith, that I seriously hope Bernie is having his blood pressure monitored off-stage. Clint Heyn's much put-upon Stanley Gardner is at a whole new plane of zany desperation. Bonnie Greene takes her "straight-man" routine to all new levels, and Haley Johnson is even more amazing than last time. (I'll admit that I have almost no objectivity where Haley is concerned, but see the show for yourself, and I'm sure you'll agree.) Throw in Brad Greening and Chesney Oxenham as the two teens Smith and Gardner are trying desperately to keep apart and Bob Leggett as Gardner's senile and lecherous father, and you've got a show that doesn't simply tickle your ribs, but very nearly breaks them.
You do not need to have seen Run For Your Wife to thoroughly enjoy Caught in the Net, but there are still two opportunities to see Wife if you haven't already. See the website for details.
As if I could recommend this show any higher, Pat Payne, a regular reader of this blog, is offering a special offer for the Saturday night (tonight) performance. Mention "One Big Bad Wolf" and tickets are just $10!
Don't I take care of you, piglets?
Unless I hear differently from Pat, this offer is for TONIGHT'S PERFORMANCE ONLY, so shake your curly little tails and get down to the E-vent Center tonight.

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