By Karen Lane
Spring is in the air and the current production in the Potomac Playmaker’s season, Farce of Nature by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, is here to tickle your funny bone. Who doesn’t love a farce especially when it’s chop full with southern charm, crazy characters, mistaken identity, and laugh out loud moments? Director Greg Berezuh certainly delivers in this hilarious production.
Gene Wilburn owns a fishing lodge that has fallen on hard times, but that’s the least of his problems. His discontented wife, Wanelle, believes he has a wandering eye. His gun happy sister, Maxie, uses the lodge as a safe house to protect a mob snitch named Deluca who is in witness protection. His son, Ty, returns home to patch up his relationship with his long time girlfriend, Jenna. Meanwhile, Ty’s flirtatious boss, Lola, followed by her gangster husband, Sonny, pursue him to Arkansas. Will overcoming a possible shootout and wild animal attack be enough for Wilburn to impress a potential investor, Roxanne, to help save the lodge and maybe even his marriage?
The well balanced cast delivers farce fun with energy, whimsy, and a shocker or two- just like a good farce should. Wanelle Wilburn, played by Cheri George, delights as the long suffering wife. She greets the audience with zippy one liners, setting a high comedic bar. Starlene Hamilton in her role of Maxie Suggs, the baking, former cop determined to return to the force, is a true gem. She creates a witty, larger-than-life, beloved performance receiving a lion’s share of laughs. James Zuma, as Wilburn, performs a second banana charmingly as well as comedically shines in a few plot surprises.
Lola & Sonny Barbosa, played by Wanda Dittman and Nicholas Sigman respectfully, infuse even more mayhem into the story line as a zany northern moll and mobster couple. Both shine with strong execution and laugh out loud moments.
Ty Wilburn, played by Jeffrey Marcum, and Carmine DeLuca, played by Andrew King, stand out for their slapstick timing and whimsy. Hilariously costumed by Karen Poston, viewers cannot help but chuckle at these two madcap performances. Rounding out this clever cast are Danielle Popp as Jenna, the devoted yet waiting girlfriend, along with Kaitlyn Teach, playing the mysterious Roxanne.
Yet again, The Potomac Playmakers shines as the little theater company that could. Now in its 92nd season, this production team is a testament to its longevity. The audience enters into a homey cabin design, which simplistically sets the plot into motion. The lighting design also added hilariously to the story. The nature sound track during the second act was a bit repetitive, but not too overwhelming.
This production gives audience members a highly amusing evening, certain to split your sides from laughter. It is not to be missed.
Running Time: Two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.