If you think your life is complicated, imagine the life of ordinary, unassuming and two-timing taxi driver John Smith. He has two wives in two nearby towns and must keep them from ever discovering each other. That is the plot of Run For Your Wife, Second Street Players’ fast paced comedy that opens at Riverfront Theatre in downtown Milford on Friday, September 13.
When cabbie John Smith, played by Brandon Twilley from Felton, is injured intervening in a mugging, his multi-matrimonial life of lies is turned upside down. With the help of neighbor Stanley, played by Josiah Rich of Dover, John heaps lies upon lies to cover up his secret. The result is a mixture of slapstick and mistaken identities reminiscent of the best of Monty Python.
“Stanley Gardner, is sort of a bum who spends the better part of the day in his bath robe. He’s a friend of John Smith and decides to help John hide his bigamy from the world. Despite being involved in the cover-up of a serious crime, Stanley really enjoys himself up to a point,” said cast member Josiah Rich. “Even though his intentions are always good, he gets John into deeper trouble throughout the play. It’s a lot of fun to play a character who is not only mischievous but also very free and comfortable in his unemployment. Whenever there is a scene in which Stanley is annoying someone or making their life difficult, I enjoy it the most.”
Rich’s SSP debut was in 2018 when he was involved with The Elephant Man. It was also his first play with adult actors and he state that he learned a lot from that experience. He fell in love with acting on his eighth birthday, the age minimum for auditions for Children’s Theatre. Rich’s favorite roles were Harold Hill in The Music Man, Corporal Howard in A Few Good Men and Oliver in Oliver.
“[Run For Your Wife] is my first lead with an otherwise all-adult cast.. Being in The Children’s Theatre was a great learning experience, and I’m so happy to put the lessons I learned to good use,” said Rich. “It’s also a very interesting cast because it’s basically two families up there. Both of my parents are in the show, and there are three Twilleys involved in the show as well. Even in the first rehearsals, everyone could see how amazing the cast’s chemistry was.”
John Smith’s two wives, Mary and Barbara, are played by Aubrey Edwards of Felton and Erin Rich of Dover.
“Mary is a very traditional and conservative woman, very demure and proper. Events occur that begin to unravel John’s very structured and scheduled life, and as John piles lie on top of lie Mary begins to feel the strain,” said cast member Aubrey Edwards. “As such, Mary transforms from demure and proper to incoherent and hysterical. My favorite part of this role is that transformation from demure to hysterical. Plus, it’s set in London, so I love that we get to play with British accents.”
Edwards has been involved in theatre since 2011, when she was in Delaware Unleashed at Kent County Theatre Guild and she made her debut at Second Streets Players in 2013 with Rehearsal for Murder. Since then, she has been involved in many shows, both at KCTG and SSP. She has also been stage manager of several shows, worked on lights and sound, taken on a directorial role in half a dozen shows and is a current SSP Board Member.
“Run for Your Wife is a British bedroom farce, meaning it is extremely fast-paced and rather ridiculous, with a lot of hilarious jokes and many innuendos, therefore, it’s not suitable for children,” said Edwards. “It’s a very physical show, with quick movements, tumbles, dances, and crashes. Our director, Steve Twilley, was able to put together an absolutely phenomenal cast, and since we’ve all worked together on other shows in some fashion, we’re all very comfortable with one another.”
Det. Sgt. Troughton and Det. Sgt. Porterhouse, the two police detectives investigating the marital mix-up, are played by Guy Crawford and John D. Rich, Jr. Donnie Lonski as Bobby Franklin, the flamboyant upstairs decorator, and Lezlie Eustis as the inquisitive reporter round out the cast.
Run for Your Wife is directed by Steve Twilley of Milford. He is a veteran director of community theatre comedies and considers Run For Your Wife to be a classic.
“This is definitely a ‘tickle your funny bone’ show,” he says. “They don’t get any funnier or better than this. There are laughs and surprises around every corner.”
Written by Ray Cooney, who is recognized as the “master of farce,” Run for Your Wife is perhaps his funniest play and certainly his most popular comedy. There have been more than 500 productions of Run For Your Wife all over the world and the script has been translated into more than 30 languages. It opened on Broadway in 1989, was made into a 2013 feature film, and this is the third time Ray Cooney’s classic British bedroom farce has been performed by Second Street Players.
And it just keeps getting funnier.
Run For Your Wife will be at the Riverfront Theatre, 2 S. Walnut Street, Milford, for two weekends only. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13, 14, 20 and 21 with curtain at 7 pm and matinees on Sunday, Sept. 15 and 22 with curtain at 2 pm.
Tickets are $17 with a one dollar discount for seniors, students, and military at the Sunday matinees. Reserved seating tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling the box office at 800-838-3006.
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