Driftwood Players

"Run for your Wife" Oct. 1990

By Ray Cooney, Directed by Jane Mezera & Valentina Pearson

From Left Front: Micki Colwell: (Barbara Smith) Michael Bennett: (Stanley Gardner) Ed Logue: (John Smith) Anne Bennett: (Mary Smith)
Left Back: Wayne Douglass: (Detective Sgt. Troughton) Russ Wiitala: (Bobby Franklin) Gary Stout: (Reporter) Mike Solan: (Detective Sgt. Porterhouse)

Ed Logue, Wayne Douglass

Mike Solan, Russ Wiitala

Gary Stout, Ed Logue, Anne Bennett

Russ Wiitala, Micki Colwell

Russ Wiitala, Mike Solan

Micki Colwell, Ed Logue, Anne Bennett

Mike Solan, Ed Logue, Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett, Micki Colwell, Ed Logue

Pictures by Alan Stamwitz
Set Designed by Ernie Ingram
Set Construction Ernie Ingram, Don Stubb, Bruce Walloch, Jack Shrauger

From The Daily World Thursday, October 4, 1990

Typical English farce kicks off Driftwood season

By Carol McPherson
Daily World correspondent

    Grays Harbor audiences enjoy a good English farce, and the Driftwood Players' current production is no exception.

    "Run for Your Wife" written by Ray Cooney, previewed last Saturday with a special performance for contributors to the Driftwood Players' Sustaining Fund.

    Public performances start this Friday and Saturday and continue October 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 8:15 p.m., and October 20 at 2:15 p.m.

    The Driftwood Theater is located at third and I streets in Aberdeen. Tickets are available for $6 at City Drug and Captain's Cove in Aberdeen, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam, and Sagen's Monte Drug in Montesano.

    Directed by Jane Mezera and assisted by Valentina Pearson, "Run for Your Wife" is the story of a London cab driver with two wives, two lives, and a very precise schedule for coping with them.

    When his schedule is upset after a head injury, John Smith becomes hopelessly entangled in his attempts to explain himself to his wives and two suspicious police officers.

    The members of the cast have a precise schedule as well, with their numerous entrances and exits creating both tension and humor in this adult comedy.

    It is a credit to everyone involved that the traffic onstage flows so smoothly.

    Ed Logue plays John Smith. His comical expressions convey how it might feel to be an "ordinary" man trying to keep two wives happy and unaware of each other's existence.

    Logue succeeds here in a challenging role. With much dialogue, he is the focus of everyone's attention, and once the silliness starts, this couldn't be an easy task.

    He previously delighted audiences as "The Foreigner," in the Driftwood production of the same name.

    Anne Bennett portrays Mary Smith, one of John's wives. She handles her role well, and reacts with appropriate horror to John's attempts to explain himself. She has also cultivated a convincing British accent which enhances her performance.

    Micki Colwell plays John's wife, Barbara. Margaret Tingwall has created a glamorous look for Colwell's character. Barbara is most convincing when she is trying to seduce her harried husband.

    Michael Bennett is entertaining as Stanley Gardner, Mary and John's upstairs neighbor. His attempts to help John out of his difficult situation only add to the confusion. (At one point John resorts to quoting a classic line: "Another fine mess you've got me into, Stanley.")

    Michael's timing and expressiveness generated much laughter on opening night, especially in the second act. He manages to play a good character role so naturally that it's easy to forget that he is acting.

    Michael is the Drama Director at Aberdeen High School. He has previously performed prize winning roles on the Driftwood stage.

    Wayne Douglas and Mike Solen play the detectives who are determined to figure out what John Smith is up to.

    Douglas has been working hard recently in the properties department of the theater. Driftwood members are pleased to see him now working successfully on stage as well.

    Mike Solan appears poised and comfortable with his first stage role.

    Gary Stout performs well as an insistent newspaper reporter who also complicates John's situation. He is a student at Aberdeen High School.

    Russell Wiitala plays Bobby, John and Barbara's gay upstairs neighbor. Exaggerated and one-dimensional characters are the foundations of a farce, and Bobby is an example of a stereotype carried to the extreme.

    Not everyone will find this humorous, but Russell, an experienced actor from Raymond, performs with enthusiasm and skill. Indeed, it was difficult to recognize him in the crowd after the play once he had removed his costume and makeup, and reverted to his normal voice and mannerisms.

    A person may wonder why a comedy of such improbable situations and extreme characters even works, but the fact is, it does. There was a great deal of laughter in the Driftwood Theater last Saturday evening.

    As usual, the workers behind the scenes of this play outnumber the actors. Eileen Jelovich is the stage manager. The program lists ten people who worked on the set. Larry Tingwall is once again running the lighting and sound.

    These volunteers donate countless hours of their time to the theater without ever getting to take a bow. What they do get is the satisfaction of being part of a successful and fun organization.

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