The Community Theatre League will present the hilarious British comedy "Cash on Delivery," playing for six performances beginning Friday. The show is in the style of plays like "Run for Your Wife" and "Love, Sex, and the IRS" and Director Jason Moyer has assembled a colorful group of actors to bring this zany comedy to life.
Eric Swan (played by Keith Wagner) has duped the welfare authorities for years by claiming every type of benefit for the innumerable and imaginary people he claims live at his address. When welfare investigators show up, he enlists one of his real lodgers and his uncle to help him out of the mess.
"This show definitely proves that adage about the tangled web we weave when we deceive," quips the director.
Show dates and times for “Cash on Delivery” are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 2 to 4. There is a 2 p.m. matinee on May 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for students and are available online at ctlshows.com or by calling 327-1777 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
In true British fashion, the dialogue and action is fast-paced and steers this comedy through loads of laughs toward a surprising ending.
Wagner says he can relate a bit to his character.
"I don't know that I am overtly like the character I'm playing (I've never defrauded the government), but I can relate to him," he said. "Eric found himself in a bad situation, but then compounded it by making some terrible choices - who can't relate to that?
"He's hoping he can undo his mistakes and avoid suffering any consequences," said Wagner. "We've all been there, but our actions always have consequences and so it is for him. Fortunately his consequences are hilarious!"
CTL has a long history of successful British farces and C.O.D.'s director is a fan.
"Farces remind me of the classic cartoons like Bugs Bunny. There is blatant, slap-stick stuff that is a very visual, simple humor, and then there's this whole other level of intellectual humor and wordplay that can take the whole experience to a higher dimension," said Moyer.
"On the one hand, you have a man in drag trying to masquerade as his own landlady and on the other, you have great one-liners or zingers - like a funeral director who laments 'Oh, that poor man he's lost two fathers in one day' and gets the response 'Yes, well he's very careless sometimes.' "
"The cast is terrific and having a lot of fun," Wagner said. "As with most shows, the rehearsals allow the cast to build a trusting relationship with one another and in this show that's especially important. There are some physical comedy bits that require us to keep each other safe," he said. "That camaraderie helps us feel comfortable to take risks as we develop our characters and invade each other's personal space."
Invading his space at times are his castmate - Laura Hartranft who plays Eric's wife Linda, Brian McKeon as Norman McDonald, their upstairs tenant, and Larry Rhinehart as Uncle George. Investigator Mr. Jenkins is played by Steve Hamod and rounding out the cast are Haeley Burgess, Fred Holland, Joe Radley, Claudia Sacavage and Liz Rebeck.
When asked why people should see it, Moyer said, "The actors and actresses are having a blast and I know that energy will translate to the audiences, and that a really great time will be had by all."
Show dates and times for "Cash on Delivery" are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 2 to 4. There is a 2 p.m. matinee on May 5.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and are available online at ctlshows.com or by calling 327-1777 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.