Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

November 3, 2013

The Game’s Afoot

Wilbraham United Players, Wilbraham, MA
through November 10, 2013
by Eric Johnson

 “Dying is easy, comedy is hard," an oft repeated quip in the theatrical community. If comedy is hard, then farce is a monumental task indeed. Author Ken Ludwig offers up a nice foundation for some out of control, sidesplitting hysteria that doesn’t quite hit the mark in this production.

Greg Trochlil did a very nice job on the set design with functional elements that help bring the castle setting to life.

Pace and energy are the key to pulling off a farce of this ilk and, although there were some very funny moments, this performance never quite conveys the obligatory sense of urgency and impending doom consistently. One of the aforementioned funny moments comes at the beginning of Act II with Kevin Bechard as William Gillette and Heath Verrill as Felix Geisel. Theirs is an enjoyable synergy between the two characters and the scene rolls along nicely.

In general, the acting is good yet understated, almost as if there was a fear of going over the top. The character of Daria (played by Patricia Colkos) seems to be particularly underplayed. This role is begging for some scenery chewing, which just doesn't happen. Perhaps it can in upcoming performances.

This show has the potential to be quite good, the director and cast just need to release the brakes and trust their instincts.