Front Row Reviewers

Pop Over to See Springville Playhouse’s See How They Run

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

Review by Jennifer Mustoe, Front Row Reviewers

See How They Run, Springville Playhouse‘s newest show, is filled with magic and mayhem and will tickle your funny bone when you see how they run.

The show opens with Miss Skillon, played by Amber Roberts, whose comic timing is beyond wonderful. Miss Skillon is usually cast as a “mature woman”, meaning a dowdy busybody. The casting of A. Roberts is brilliant because she is not “mature” (and this is a little bit of a joke), and is beautiful and young. A. Roberts’ character, in a fit of despair, gets drunk, and this is the highlight of the show, full stop. She gets laugh after laugh as she fumbles around and slurs her words. It is really a sight, and I kept looking forward to what was going to happen next. Absolutely delightful. And in a later scene, you’ll see why Skillon being young works to this play’s favor.

The opening scene is Miss Skillon complaining to the Reverend Lionel Toop (Michael Wood) about the pulpit decorations. Miss Skillon is always in charge of this, but has been usurped by Penelope Toop (Meredith DeFord), the Reverend’s American wife. A flirtatious air is created with casting A. Roberts, as she is in competition with Penelope not only over the pulpit flowers, but for the Reverend as well. Ida the Maid, played by Krystal DiPeri, scoots around, her Cockney accent in full force. DiPeri is fun and also something of a flirt to any man who comes along.

Things get complicated when Corporal Clive Winton, played by Adam DeFord, visits Penelope, a former acting mate, and the two go out to see the show they’d played in before they both went into non-acting lives. Winton can’t be seen in uniform, so he borrows Toop’s clerical clothes and collar.

And this is where it all falls apart and becomes funnier in a far-fetched farce kind of way. The clerical collar becomes the device that melds all together is a hilarious tale of mistaken identity. In an effort not give away too much of the plot (you need to see this to not only believe it, but also to understand who plays what and why), I will simply list the cast of characters.

Dave Chapa as the Bishop of Lax (is this a pun?) plays his part of the stuffy-ish bishop with witty comic timing. Watching this otherwise pompous character become anything but is laid at the feet of Chapa. When he is running around (see how they run?) in his long nightdress and nightcap, he steals the stage.

Aaron Bone plays the Reverend Arthur Humphrey, and this actor stays in character with stellar cohesion. He is especially fun to watch when Humphrey gets flustered. Watch Bone’s face, hands, demeanor. It’s a delight.

Gavin Gifford as the Intruder pretty much steals the scene–and again, this is a pun. I will not tell you why he’s an Intruder, but he too ends up in a clerical collar, and it is totally not his cup of tea, to the delight of us in the audience.

Finally, Karen Amsden Hatfield plays Sergeant Towers, though this role is also played by Michelle McManus starting in September.

Director Michael Roberts keeps this crew in line admirably. Set Design and Construction by M. Roberts and Kathy Llewellyn is lovely–a nice, cozy English cottage. Lighting Designer Cierra Warenski and Chapa bring it all together to make this show a real treat.

Everyone’s accents are believable, and costumes by Ramona Swapp are lovely and very authentic for the time period (1943).

See How They Run is family friendly and the kiddos I saw in the audience were laughing throughout the show. It isn’t a terribly long show, either, which keeps the audience engaged and the kiddos not too squirmy. Take a trip to England in 1943, come prepared to laugh, and a jolly good time will be had by all.

Springville Playhouse presents See How They Run, by Phillip King.
Merit Preparatory Academy, 1440 W Center St, Springville, Utah 84663
August 28-September 9, 2023 Monday, Thursday – Saturday, 7:30 PM, doors open at 7:00 PM. Open seating.
Tickets: $12-14
Springville Playhouse Facebook Page

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