Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 by Pat Gaik
Review: Barn troupe delivers with 'Unnecessary Farce'
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By Patricia S. Stiller | Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 8:05 am |
The Barn II comedy squad is at its finest in their latest offering, Paul Slade Smith's award-winning side-splitter, "Unnecessary Farce," making its Central Illinois debut in Goodfield this summer.
Set in adjoining rooms of an economy motel in "anywhere USA," this comedy centers around the undercover police investigation of a possible embezzlement scheme involving a town mayor.
At the center, two inexperienced officers, Eric Sheridan and Billie Dwyer, begin their day checking their surveillance equipment and running quality control checks on the doughnuts.
The officers are working in cooperation with the town's accountant, the lovely Karen Brown, who secretly has a thing for officer Sheridan, unbeknown to him.
Just as Brown is revealing her passion for the junior detective, his partner switches on the video camera in the next room, capturing the entire steamy interaction on tape just in time for the mayor to enter the scene.
Things go from bad to worse when the mayor's head of town hall security, Agent Frank, arrives and nervously erupts with information about the Scottish Mafia and the assassin known as Todd the Highland Hit Man, who is connected somehow to the missing money.
"No one is safe," Agent Frank warns.
When Billie returns to her room to check the equipment, she discovers a plaid duffel bag containing bagpipes in her room.
Lucky for her the mayor's wife, looking for her husband, arrives - or is it?
The ensemble delivers, with outstanding performances by John Johnson as Eric Sheridan and April Wyant as his partner, Officer Billie Dwyer.
Also giving it their best are Miranda Axsom as Karen, Dan Challacombe as Agent Frank, Mary Simon as Mrs. Meekly, and headliners Bob Lane Jr. as Mayor Meekly and Pat Gaik as Todd.
Patricia Stiller is a freelance writer who reviews plays for The Pantagraph.
Venue: Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre, Goodfield
Times and dates: Thu.-Sat. evenings and Sun. matinees, through Sept. 13
Cost: $31 to $35
Running time: 2 hr., including 20-min. intermission