Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY


October 20, 2011

‘Unnecessary Farce’ provides nonstop humor

GLASGOW — For those who don’t mind watching a bit of clothing removal onstage, the Far Off Broadway Players’ performance of “Unnecessary Farce” this weekend is sure to bring a lot of laughs.

The adult comedy involves four cast members in their underwear at different points, according to director J.P. Johnson, but the play is a lot of fun.

“It is full of humor,” Johnson said. “The Scottish innuendo and the history of this town go hand in hand. A lot of things are taken out of context, to put it mildly.”

“Unnecessary Farce” is set in a motel in a small town. Two police officers have set up a sting with the city’s accountant in an effort to catch the crook responsible for $16 million missing out of the city’s budget. The sting operation starts going downhill when it becomes clear the inexperienced officers have very little idea what they are doing, and the discovery that the Scottish mob has something to do with the missing money sends the cast into a tizzy. There’s never a dull moment, according to Rick Barnes, who plays Mayor Meekly.

“What stands out about this (play) is the characters,” Barnes said.

Randy Chapman, who plays Agent Frank, agreed that the characters as well as the actors cast in the roles come together to make a thoroughly amusing performance.  

“I think you’ll get your money’s worth,” Chapman said. “I think there will be a lot of laughs. A lot of laughs.”

Johnson originally suggested that the Far Off Broadway Players put on “Unnecessary Farce” when he was helping design props and posters. He has been involved with the theater group for years, but he didn’t consider directing until this year, when his sister, Denise Williams, became president of the group and they needed more directors for this year’s performances. “Unnecessary Farce” had been discarded as too risqué, but Johnson was told that if he directed, he could put on the comedy.

“And that was the only way I saw this play getting done,” Johnson said.

After being involved in Far Off Broadway Players for so long but in such a different role, Johnson said he has learned a lot through his foray into directing.

“I jumped into this at first and I’ve learned so much about what goes on that I never knew before,” he said.

His sister Williams, who has directed four FOBP productions, said she has seen each of the cast members grow as actors, and has also seen her brother grow into a director.

“It’s so funny, because the director is my big brother, but I’m watching him grow,” Williams said.

The play, written by Paul Slade Smith, will be performed at the Plaza Theatre on Oct. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m., and on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The cast is comprised of Dane Bowles, as Officer Eric Sheridan; Kacy Hope as Officer Billie Dwyer; Carla Bush as accountant Karen Brown; Rick Barnes as Mayor Meekly; Randy Chapman as Agent Frank; Pete Lapham as Todd/the Highland Hitman; and Diane Beeckler as Mary Meekly, the mayor’s wife.

“Come! Bring your friends! Bring your enemies!” Lapham said.

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