CTC’s One Man Two Guvnors Delights Audiences

For me, nothing says summer like a trek to Contemporary Theatre Company. I was excited to hear that they were doing a comedy this summer, One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, which graced Broadway stages five years ago starring James Corden. I went into this show knowing very little about it, but right away from the program note, I was alerted to the fact that this is a night for enjoyment and laughter without thinking too hard. And let’s be honest, who couldn’t use a night like that?

I love how CTC always makes the most of their intimate setting. I feel that I’m a bit of a broken record here, but seriously they never cease to amaze me with what they do with their staging. This script, being a little … different, certainly lends itself to the intimacy of CTC. It is a retelling of a commedia dell’arte piece that frequently looks in on itself as a performance piece. This play is a simple story of mistaken identity, with a little blackmail and more physical comedy than one play usually contains.  You will laugh a lot, and you’ll leave the theater feeling lighter than when you walked in.

This is a large cast, so it’s impossible to get to everyone, but a few highlights are in order.

Sarah Reed plays Rachel Crabbe and proved once again to be the ultimate physical comedienne. One can easily imagine her having a future with comedy sketch troupes as her timing is impeccable, her mannerisms are top-notch and her command of the stage is that of a veteran, not a student. Ricco Lanni as Francis Henshaw, the man with two guvnors, had by far one of the more difficult jobs of the evening as he was to break that fourth wall the most and chat it up with the audience. I could seriously watch Ricco Lanni in anything after this show. Somewhere out there there has to be a one man show he can star in, and if not, at least a two person show starring Lanni and Reed. Tyler Brown played Reed’s love interest, Stanley Stubbers, and he has some very funny moments. Terry Simpson’s Latin-speaking father, Harry Dangle, was a perfect pairing with Alan Dangle’s over the top actor in training. Devon Andrews was a delight as Alan Dangle, and Jeremy Chaing was certainly a crowd favorite as Alfie. Alynne Miller’s Dolly was funnier than I think the playwright even intended.

Sami Agdivor, who usually is seen onstage with CTC, has pulled off a fun evening of laughs with this cast.

One Man, Two Guvnors runs until August 12th at Contemporary Theater Company.  Shows are at 7pm.  Call the box office for tickets at 401-218-2082 or check out their website at contemporarytheatercompany.com


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