Reviewed by Nicholas Linnehan
The Cider Mill Playhouse’s production of “Unnecessary Farce” is anything but unnecessary. It’s a riot! Under Penny Powell’s capable direction, the cast shines. This play is classic farce, full of awkward situations, sexual innuendo and play on words. The ensemble members show their talent as they tackle all of these aspects with great ease. As an actor, I know that this is no easy feat and requires a lot of diligence and skill.
Zac Chastain (Eric) and Alice Wiesner (Billie) star as the play’s inept cops, incapable of chasing a dragonfly, much less bringing down a Scottish mafia cult. Their commitment to these characters is stunning, which brings their comic presence to life. Wiesner is a pistol (no pun intended), and at barely five feet, her prowess is gigantic. Matching her skill. Chastain fleshes out his role and has unending energy. They are both a delight to watch.
The other characters are also infectious. Tim Mollen (the tough-appearing, but inwardly cowardly Agent Frank) is a comic genius and delivers some of the funniest moments in this zany plot. Also noteworthy is Brad Morgan (Todd) as a Scottish hitman equipped with bagpipes, kilt and wig. There are many funny sequences when you are clearly not supposed to understand what he’s saying due to his heavy accent. Yet, Morgan manages to convey the meaning of what he’s saying very effectively, adding humor to this surreal play.
If you love comedies, go see “Unnecessary Farce”by Paul Slade Smith as it is necessarily funny. Well done!
Performances continue Thursdays through Sundays through Feb. 20 at the Cider Mill Playhouse, 2 S. Nanticoke Ave., Endicott. Ticket information: Visit www.cidermillplayhouse.com. Note: The play contains adult language and situations.