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November 19, 2013 > Theatre Review: Sorry! Wrong Chimney delivers Christmas spirit

Theatre Review: Sorry! Wrong Chimney delivers Christmas spirit

By Janet Grant

The word ÒfarceÓ is defined in the dictionary as a light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character. This is certainly the wonderful case for Broadway WestÕs latest production, ÒSorry! Wrong Chimney!Ó.

Jack Sharkey and Leo W. SearsÕ Christmas farce is skillfully directed by R. Michael Price and delivers lighthearted, rollicking, comical entertainment just in time for the holidays.

This cheerful tale is chock full of mistaken identities and zany foul-ups. David Tuttle is moonlighting as a department store Santa so that he can buy his wife a great present for Christmas. He tells her he's working late at the office, but she discovers he isn't! Throw in two kooky neighbors, a notorious but mentally unstable Santa Claus burglar, his Brooklyn moll of a fiancˇe, and a duty-bound but very confused policeman, and you have one amazing night of fun, courtesy of the talented cast and crew of the Broadway West Theatre Company!

Rachel Campbell was quite enjoyable as the young, sexy, love-starved newlywed Samantha Tuttle. She played her role with just the right amount of pathos and dippiness and she sure could run around a couch! She was a perfect counterpoint to husband David, aptly played by Michael Weiland. As David, Mr. Weiland added the one stable, serious, character to the play Ð well, serious up to a point. He proved he could do whacky as well, especially under the right circumstancesÉ like under hypnosis.

JC Sales as neighbor Natalie Weldon was convincing and funny and portrayed the perfect lunatic friend. Her rapid-fire synergy with Samantha was convincing and kept the play moving quickly.

The scene stealer of the night turned out to be NatalieÕs hare-brained psychiatrist husband and inept hypnotist, Bill. Ben OrtegaÕs outstanding portrayal of Bill was reminiscent of ÒI Love LucyÓ episodes. His comedic timing was spot on and he delivered some of the eveningÕs funniest moments. His confused interactions with Samantha were especially side-splitting.
Rickey Dilley as Kris Kreigle played the Santa Burglar with dim-witted appeal. I almost rooted for him to be real. After all, he cared about his reindeer being shot! And you had to like his hard-talking, voluptuous fiancˇe Sheila, portrayed by Carolyn Janis. Long suffering but protective, she succeeds in turning a stereotype into a real person.
The capstone of the evening had to be the duty-bound police officer, hilariously portrayed by a serious, but very buff, Dominic Dee. Responding to a complaint of shots being fired, he wound up leaving very confused and sans uniform!
Broadway WestÕs comedic farce ÒSorry! Wrong Chimney!Ó has it all: humor, zaniness, good acting, funny clothes, psychoanalysis, hypnosis, striptease, gunfire, and Santa Claus plus one. What a winning combination for a light-hearted night of fun and a perfect beginning to the holiday madness to come. By the looks of an almost sold out house, youÕd better get your tickets fast or youÕll miss out on all the holiday fun.
Sorry! Wrong Chimney!
Through December 21
8 p.m. (Sunday matinees: 1 p.m.)
Broadway West Theatre Company
4000-B Bay Street, Fremont
(510) 683-9218
www.broadwaywest.org
Tickets: $10 - $25

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