Cops, crooks, lots of surprises and frenzied fun await audiences when the Black Hills Playhouse wraps up its season with “Unnecessary Farce.”
“Unnecessary Farce” is an award-winning stage comedy with Marx Brothers-like wackiness. The story is set in an economy motel room, where an embezzling mayor is set to meet with his female accountant. In the room next door, two undercover police are supposed to videotape the meeting. As in any classic farce, it’s not long before confusion, mistaken identities and slamming doors ensue.
“It’s the opposite of boring,” cast member Matthew Murry said. “There’s so much going on constantly. It’ll keep the audience going and it’s a great escape.”
Matthew Murry and his wife, Stephanie Murry, are theater professors and part-time actors from Grand Forks, ND, who have starring roles in “Unnecessary Farce.”
Matthew plays Eric Sheridan, one of the two police at the motel. “He’s kind of an intellectual cop. He’s a lot of times behind the desk, much to his chagrin. In this play, he gets the opportunity to be part of a stakeout and he’s really excited. He wants to make sure not to mess up — which is where some of the hilarity comes in. It just goes horribly wrong,” Matthew said.
Stephanie plays Karen Brown, the accountant who discovers discrepancies in the mayor’s accounts. “She tries to get him to admit he’s embezzled money and we make some further discoveries along the way,” Stephanie said. “It starts off as an investigation of the mayor’s office but there’s a twist.”
Plot twists abound — such as the involvement of the Scottish Mafia. “What starts as a simple mission becomes much bigger. The cops and the accountant get in way over their heads,” Matthew said.
“Unnecessary Farce” is written by Paul Slade Stone, a New York actor who has performed on and off Broadway.
“Part of the fun for the audience is wondering where’s the playwright going with this?” Stephanie said. “There’s a lot of physical comedy and there’s a lot of verbal wit. There’s also a Scottish character, so we had fun with a Scottish dialect.”
Because “Unnecessary Farce” is set in an unnamed small city in an unspecified state, director Dan Workman took some creative license with the production.
“We decided to be a little more specific and bring the action a little closer to home. Please note that it is not our intention to insinuate that any of our elected officials are factually represented. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental,” Workman said.
“Unnecessary Farce” is contains some adult language and sexual innuendo and may not be appropriate for children younger than 13.