The nosy Miss Skillon (left), played by Linda Mosley of Allen Park, takes an unexpected punishing blow from Penelope, played by Keri Geftos (right) of Southgate, while Clive, played by Dan Hartley, in the Players Guild of Dearborn’s “See How They Run,” which runs weekends through Jan. 30 Guild theater. For tickets, call (313) 561-TKTS or go to www.playersguildofdearborn.org.
By Sue Suchyta
If the high cost of living has you down, travel back in time 60 years with the cast and crew of the hysterically funny Philip King farce “See How They Run.”
If the vintage hairstyles and clothing don’t get you chuckling, the funny chase scenes, one-liners and mistaken identities will.
The show, which opened Friday at the Players Guild of Dearborn and runs weekends through Jan. 30, will tickle your funny bone and provide much needed laughter and escapism.
The play may start out at a normal pace, but by the time the second act starts, you’ll be laughing so hard you won’t even mind that you’re unsure who will rush through the French doors next in clerical garb, leaping over any obstacles – usually a prone Miss Skillon – in their wake.
The show, set in post-World War II England, follows the mistaken-identity and miscommunications that occur when a vicar, Lionel Toop, and Penelope, his new bride, an outgoing, pant-wearing American actress, find themselves frustrated as they make needed adjustments to their new roles and each other. When former thespian Clive drops in, Penelope charms him into going out-of-bounds for some excitement.
They plot to dress Clive as a vicar so he can go to a play with Penelope in a neighboring village that is “off limits” to the military. However, when Miss Skillon sees Clive and Penelope locked in a dramatic fight scene from “Private Lives,” a borrowed suit and one lucky punch set off a whirlwind series of mistaken identities, slamming doors, drunken escapades and enough vicars to make you think you have double vision.
Tony Badalamenti is a genius with the ladies’ vintage hairstyles, and makes Keri Geftos look like a fashion model from Vogue with her classic post-war highly stylized updo. Adriana Arnold highlights the leading lady’s classic cheekbones with blusher, preparing her for her Nora Desmond moment. Chuck Demske assists her with the make-up magic.
Mary Calder costumed the show with era-appropriate clothing and enough bright colors to offset the dark clerical garb. She also made the most of the Guild’s onsite vintage clothing collection. Penelope wears a bright Asian-inspired brocade robe, Ida sports a jaunty flowered hat and sensible laced up dress shoes, and the Bishop of Lax has long traditional everyday robe-like vestments.
Even Miss Skillon looks like the maiden aunt we all see at weddings and funerals in a classic tailored suit and a proper hat. A teetotaling village gossip, she objects to Penelope being seen wearing trousers and waving to soldiers. She’s also sure that the vicar’s new wife is out to unseat her place in the parish as the tradition keeper and pulpit decorator. Linda Mosley delivers a wonderfully rich and developed version of Miss Skillon, and makes her both annoying and likable.
The ensemble cast is strong and makes the most of the comic talent available.
Lindel Salow steals the stage as the visiting Bishop. Alex Gojkov approaches the Russian spy and prisoner of war persona with stilted, limited speech — hilarious against the wild theatrics of the other characters.
The cast also showcases the talents of Marc Rosati of Berkley as the confused and bewildered Reverend Lionel Toop and Keri Geftos of Southgate as the charming and scheming Penelope Toop.
Clive, played by Dan Hartley, has some fun lines as he uses colorful vintage Yankee slang and witticisms against the British backdrop. He’s also a strong, talented anchor to the cast. His comic timing and delivery is an asset, as is his appeal as an down-to-earth all-American hero.
Sean Greimel is entertaining as the long-suffering Reverend Arthur Humphrey who is at his wits end as a visiting cleric whom several different parties hope to impersonate for their own means.
Ken Kilgore of Dearborn as Sergeant Towers and Katie Suchyta of Dearborn as Ida offer similar comic relief as they patiently respond to the mistaken identities and mayhem of those they protect and serve. Both earn their well-deserved share of laughter.
The British accents, both Cockney and middle class, are impressively well-delivered by the Midwesterners playing Brits.
The show is directed by the talented Lucinda Chavez and assistant directed by the equally insightful Ross Grossman. Both worked tirelessly with the cast to deliver a polished, professional show. Producers Richard Moore and Scott Rider made the most of the Guild’s membership assets and capably led the thorough and professional team of technical theater volunteers.
Performance times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
The theater is at 21730 Madison in Dearborn, south of the intersection of Monroe and Outer Drive. The facility is handicap accessible.
For more information, call (313) 561-TKTS or go to www.playersguildofdearborn.org.