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Fast-paced farce debuts at Playmakers

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: “Whose Wives Are They Anyway?”

• WHEN: 8 p.m. May 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21; 2 p.m. May 15 and 22

• WHERE: Playmakers Civic Theatre, 604 W. Sixth St., Port Clinton

• COST: $12/ticket

• INFO: 419-734-5044

Slamming doors, cross-dressing and confusion is nothing new to the Playmakers Civic Theatre, which closes out its 64th season with “Whose Wives Are They Anyway?” on weekends from May 12 through 22 at the Port Clinton theater.

“It’s an American farce written by Michael Parker,” said director Millie Butts, a Port Clinton resident who has directed over a handful of Playmakers Civic Theatre productions in the past. “It’s about two young executives who go to a country club for a weekend because their company has been bought out by another corporation, and they think this is the only long weekend they’ll ever get. After they arrive, they find out their new boss is there, and she tells them that she wants to meet their wives because no one would work for her that goes off on a golfing weekend without their wives.”

Hilarity ensues as characters John Baker (played by Martin Smith) and David McGachen (played by Steve Heineman) have to improvise spouses. The former gets a sexy secretary to fill in as his wife, while the latter has to rely on, well, um, the latter to dress up as his better half. If you’re thinking “Some Like It Hot,” you’re not too far off.

“It’s a very fast-paced show and very, very funny,” Butts said. “People are coming in and out of doors, and the audience traditionally for years has always loved the farces. It’s something that our theater does really well. They love the musicals and the farces. So we try to include one of each in our seasons. It’s a good light-hearted laugh.”

The Playmakers Civic Theatre is returning to the work of Parker. The company successfully produced his “Who’s In Bed With The Butler?” a few years ago to crowded audiences. What’s unique about Parker is that even though he’s British, he writes American farces, which are far less technical than their U.K. counterparts.

Musicals may have become de rigueur in the community theater world, but there is something about the farce that stands out as being different and often hard to do. That’s why Butts said people return to the Playmakers Civic Theatre year after year.

“Most audiences know (that) what makes a farce different from a regular comedy is the speed of the action,” Butts said. “The timing is so important. In this production, there are at least six doors opening and closing in very fast succession with people going in and out of these doors with excellent timing. And that’s pretty much what typifies a farce, that fast-paced timing. So people will leave our show feeling entertained and having had a good laugh.”

She added, “This show isn’t slow, it won’t drag.”

“Whose Wives Are They Anyway” takes place at 8 p.m. May 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 and 2 p.m. May 15 and 22 at the Playmakers Civic Theatre, 604 W. 6th St., Port Clinton. Tickets are $12. For more information, call the box office at 419-734-5044.

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