Don’t hate the player, hate the game–just make sure you play the game right…
Run For Your Wife, by Ray Cooney, is Los Angeles Theater at it’s best. It’s a tale of a man with one problem: two wives. A taxi cab driver who couldn’t seem to keep his hand out of the cookie jar, John Smith (Michael C. Silva) has his complicated world revealed, when he is admitted to a hospital for an injury. When both of his wives come calling, it sends suspicion through the police force, and utter confusion amongst the neighbors.
Smith must find a way to calm Police Detective Troughton (Morgan Krantz) and Detective Porterhouse (Paul Guay) while negotiating the romance of his two wives. With his first wife Barbara (Laura Buckles) looking for romance, and his straight-as-an-arrow second wife, Mary (Rebekah Voss) rummaging for answers, John searches desperately for the correct answer to his odd situation. In so doing, he brings in his upstairs neighbor, Stanley Gardner (Tristan Wright) to help craft a story that will calm the confusion. The only thing more queer than the story they cook up, is Bobby (Justin Wade) the other neighbor living above Barbara.
What begins as an unbelievable alibi turns into a narrative that unfolds before our very eyes.
Every one of John’s crooked attempts to explain the situation sends him into a spiral, dragging Stanley further into the mess. The trap with every farce is the inability to remain real in the events–actors begin overemphasizing their jokes or stumbling over exaggerated physicality. Run For Your Wife is a zany comedy, but it remains remarkably grounded. The characters carry objectives that are easy to identify and their physical actions, although theatrical at times, are justified and believable. The story flows very well, providing a crisp two hours that reminds us that farce can still take on a life of its own, if put in the correct hands. Director Tina Polzin puts her mark on a well executed play, providing fun performances and an even funnier story. Run For Your Wife is the perfect answer to anyone asking where to find great theater in Los Angeles.
But don’t take my word for it, listen to the cast as they tell their secret to finding the right answer, every time.
Run For Your Wife opens January 16, 2010 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through February 13. More information is available at JohnSmithCheats.com