Posted: Wednesday Jun 5, 2013
June 5, 2013
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will continue its 45th season of professional theatre with the regional premiere of a newly-published farce by Douglas Hughes and Marcia Kash, Too Many Cooks, June 20 to July 6, directed by Colleen Reilly.
“Too Many Cooks is a Canadian farce that was written about ten years ago,” Reilly commented, “but it’s been newly-published in this country by Samuel French Inc. I was so excited when I first read it. We try to do a farce every summer at Saint Vincent, something that is light, silly and charming. It seems to be perfect entertainment for the hot summer months.”
“Good farces are actually very hard to find,” Reilly continued. “It’s one of those genres that looks effortless if it’s done right but is actually very tricky to pull off. I have read enough bad or mediocre farces over the years to understand how difficult it is and how a farce that really works is to be treasured. When I first read Too Many Cooks, I knew I had a farce that was good. I was laughing out loud myself. I knew it was something we could do and do very well.”
“The show is set in the early 1930s when Prohibition was still in effect in America,” Reilly explained. “The play itself is set in Niagara Falls, just across the border in Canada. A lot of border towns in Canada at this time had become hotbeds of smuggling because the liquor laws were not nearly as restrictive in Canada so gangsters would get liquor there and smuggle it across the border. The play takes place on the opening day of a brand new restaurant run by a man named Irving Bubbalowe and his daughter, Honey. They have always tried to do things the right way and are good and decent people who have not participated in the smuggling and bootlegging despite the money to be made in those endeavors. Today they are celebrating the grand opening of their new restaurant and this being a farce, of course, everything rapidly starts to go wrong. Their famous chef fails to turn up so they have to persuade an unemployed short-order cook to pose as the famous French chef. It is revealed that, unbeknownst to Bubbalowe, his basement has been used by smugglers as a storage spot for illegal alcohol and on this particular day gangsters from America turn up to figure out why some of their shipments have not been arriving as they should. Meanwhile, the famous French chef turns out to be wanted by immigration for violations of immigration laws so a Canadian immigration officer turns up plus an upright Canadian Mountie comes in search of the gangsters. Very quickly, in classic farce fashion, there are mistaken identities, misunderstandings, near-miss chases – all the classic, silly, delightful elements of a well-constructed farce. And, of course, it all ends happily. I think it is going to be a great deal of fun!”
The cast includes Saint Vincent veterans Alex Walton as Mickey McCall, Kevin Daniel O’Leary as Frank Plunkett, David Cabot as Alfonse “Noodles” Feghetti, Karen Baum as Veronica Snook and Michael Fuller as Hamilton X. Effing. Making their initial appearance on the Saint Vincent stage are Bob Turano as Irving Bubbalowe, Abby Quatro as Honey Bubbalowe and Luke Halferty as Shirley. Patrons may recognize Turano who has made numerous television appearances on Blue Bloods, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order CI, Guiding Light, As the World Turns and All My Children in addition to roles on Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater and film.
A preview performance is scheduled at 8:10 p.m. Thursday, June 20. Regular performances are set for 8:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22, Tuesday to Saturday, June 25-29, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, July 2, 3, 5 and 6. Two matinees are scheduled at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 26 and Sunday, June 30.
Individual tickets are $10 for preview performances, $19 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, $22 on Friday and Saturday evenings and $16 for matinees. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 guests or more. Senior citizens, 62 or older, are eligible for a $2 discount upon request on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. Special subscription plans are also available through Saturday, June 29. In addition, student tickets are available for $10 for any seat, any performance.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre would like to thank the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. Veterans and active duty military personnel will be admitted free of charge to any performance during the week of the 4th of July (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, July 2, 3, 5 and 6). Call the box office for details.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre performances are all scheduled in the comfortable, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. Free van shuttle service is provided to and from the spacious and convenient parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre continues to feature its well-known cabaret, the special after-the-show party to which all theatre patrons are invited. Saint Vincent students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages after the production and also provide entertainment. The cabaret is open after all performances except Thursday preview shows and all matinees. Theatre officials encourage donations if patrons enjoy themselves at the after-the-show party.
The 24th annual Saint Vincent Summer Theatre Gala will be held Friday, July 12. All proceeds benefit the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons are asked to make ticket reservations in advance because seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening preview shows, which are general admission. Reservations may be made by calling the theater box office at 724-537-8900 or going online to www.svst.org. A credit card is required for online reservations which are transferable but non-refundable. Further information is available by contacting the box office.
Photos: Bob Turano, Alex Walton, Abby Quatro, Kevin Daniel O’Leary, David Cabot, Luke Halferty, Karen Baum and Michael Fuller.
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