Beachcomber - November 1st, 2007
Farce and Frolic at ICT
Freedom without structure is chaos. And British farce without a bobby (police official) is … not a proper farce.
Never fear. “Tom, Dick and Harry” at ICT has both structure and a bobby. And plenty of tension that is relieved by plenty of laughter.
Once upon a time there was an acclaimed popular comedic playwright named Ray Cooney. “Funny Money,” “Not Now Darling” and “Run for Your Wife” are a few of his plays. His son Michael Cooney grew up to become a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote “Identity” starring John Cusack. But as screenwriters are wont to do – he decided to write a play.
When he got stuck he called up London-based dad, who then proceeded to have so many ideas that his son had the bright idea that the play had now become collaboration and “Tom, Dick and Harry” was born. Or it could be called “Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest” because of all the crazy scrapes the brothers manage to get into, or rather the two younger brothers bring upon the hapless, somewhat happily married and stable oldest brother Tom (Brian Stanton, who channels Hugh Grant’s charm and delivery).
The other two brothers, Dick (Nicholas Levene who does a mean pantomime) and Harry (Elvis impersonator champion Jaime Tintor), are ne’er do wells who are not maliciously sabotaging Tom and Linda’s adoption interview (Linda is played by Christy Hall) with the upright and uptight Mrs. Potter (Kerry Michaels) but the contraband brandy and cigarettes and illegal immigrants (Dick’s contribution), as well as body parts brought over by hospital orderly brother Harry do not help.
The staple of British farce, the suspicious bobby, comes in the form of Constable Downs (Matt Foyer) who noses out that mischief is afoot at the Kerwood household.
Apparently, the only true Brit among the actors is Kerry Michaels. The other actors do quite nicely with their accents, except Harry at one point migrated from a Cockney accent to Scottish to American Southern to Irish, but I chalked it up to the fact that he was playing a somewhat mentally challenged person acting out the different farcical roles that evolved during this excruciatingly lovely mess.
The two illegal immigrants, Andreas (Lou Briggs) and Katerina (Jaime Andrews) are very energetic and believable as they try to communicate in their gibberish and pantomime. Oh, and did I mention Boris (David Fruechting) the mob guy?
Oy! Such a lot of actors and action and lies and meshuganna craziness (nothing Jewish in this play, I just love Yiddish) – director Todd Nielsen has his hands full managing this zany cacophony and I predict this talented ensemble will only improve with each performance.
Kudos also to set designer Matthew D. Egan for a very stylish set. You like to laugh (and who doesn’t?) — go see “Tom, Dick and Harry.” They’ll set your funny bone straight.