Monday, February 17, 2014
Stage West Calgary "Unnecessary Farce"
Stage West Calgary
The "Before-Noon" Theatre Review: Stage West Calgary's presentation of
by Paul Slade Smith
directed by J. Sean Elliott
If the reaction of last night's audience is any indication, word of mouth for Stage West Calgary's latest comedy is going to be cause for a whole lot of sellouts there during the next couple of months...
Chock-full of talented actors embracing a script that percolates along to the full boil of a surprise ending, I can assure you that the laughter is literally relentless.
Once again I have to hold back some of my choicest comments for the official Calgary Herald review I'll be writing as soon as this one is posted (link here when that goes live online!), but I can say that "Unnecessary Farce" stands out in my mind as the best comedy I've seen in this facility - and there have been some awfully good ones over at least the past 5 years that I've been attending.
How can you lose, when you have a fabled "Highland Hitman", that plays a song on the bagpipes before he eliminates his quarry? Or a sort-of "assistant murderer", that preps the victims, yet has some remorse and jitters that tend to complicate his part of the missions?
There's a mysterious "big wheel" orchestrating all the activity, as well as a fledgling cop that couldn't even be trusted with an official police force-issued pistol, settling for something more appropriate for a schoolyard encounter.
Add in some irresistible attraction to percolate the love element, and you're getting close to seeing the big picture in this exceptional farce...
There's even one scene that pays homage to our very own Calgary Stampede - featuring a little bucking...
Set in a pair of adjoining motel rooms, the set design was terrific, allowing for the characters to migrate between the situations unfolding entirely erratically in each of those rooms. The plan to catch a small town mayor on videotape confessing to a corruption scandal goes off just perfectly, if the planners of that enterprise had been Laurel & Hardy...
I'm not sure how much of this production is script or director, but there's no question that the end result is a brisk, madcap adventure that had audience members exchanging glances as they howled with laughter.
I just can't give anything away without spoiling the fun, so beat the crowds (last night appeared to be sold-out) and get right down to Stage West to take in this funny and enjoyable crime comedy!
Check back later this week for my Calgary Herald review!