Indiana Daily Student

'It Runs in the Family' playing at Brown County Playhouse

Sandwiched into the quaint, yet bustling Nashville shopping strip, the Brown County Playhouse always manages to put on an eclectic summer season for its patrons. Their most recent hit is "It Runs in the Family," an intelligent and wonderfully performed British farce by Ray Cooney, which was directed by Bruce Burgun.\nThe storyline itself is alive, on fire with mistaken identities, cover-ups, bald-faced lies and illegitimate children. The entire production, set in an upstairs hospital administrative office, achieves a uniquely spontaneous and lively feel, making it not only fun to watch but extremely memorable. Even if farce is not an audience member's cup of tea, the brand of humor is highly interactive and modernized just enough to attract anyone to what this show has to offer.\nThe play revolves around a past affair between Dr. David Mortimore and a former nurse at his hospital, Jane Tate. Tate returns to inform Mortimore that he fathered an illegitimate son from that affair. The boy, Leslie, is a troublesome 18-year-old cockney punk with a magenta mohawk, leather jacket, chains, piercings and a violent desire to find his biological father. Because of an upstanding position in the medical profession and what seems to be a good relationship with his wife of over eighteen years, Mortimore resorts to an array of creative and highly detailed lies to mask an almost two-decade-old deception. Chaos ensues that cannot be included here in order to preserve the integrity of suspense and masterful plot construction of a good farce. The plot assembles a dozen entertaining characters in so far over their heads that even the audience gets exhausted in watching them handle the situation.\n"It Runs in the Family" sports a near-flawless ensemble of University and community talents. An IU graduate with an MFA in acting, Wolf Sherill shines as David Mortimore, applying a degree of suaveness, integrity and creative finesse to a highly imaginative character. Sherill's credits include IU Mainstage shows "Suddenly Last Summer" and "A Winters Tale," previous Playhouse shows such as "Of Mice and Men," "Wait Until Dark," "Not Now Darling" and most recently, the BCP show, "Moon Over Buffalo."\nAlso worthy of attention is IU graduate Eric "Happy" Anderson. Anderson plays Hubert Bonney, one of Mortimore's wackier, more clueless colleagues who becomes tightly wrapped in the cover-up. The audience cannot help but fall in love with Anderson\'s character, which he orchestrates out of a combination of simple-mindedness, nervous humor and a great deal of heart. \nIU talents include junior Jackson Bloom with his hysterical interpretation of Leslie and junior Peter Gerharz, a sometimes-gullible police sergeant with a fabulous final monologue and an uncanny ability to make himself the butt of some of the more physical humor in the show. IU graduate Dennis Black delivers an impeccably timed humorous performance of Bill Leslie, an elder, wheelchair-confined patient who is consistently nearly pushed off the stage, causing some of the front-row patrons to duck and cover.\nThe cast also includes Masters students Caroline Klein, Melissa Nedell and Kelly Ann Ford, community actors Steve Heise, AMDA educated Alan Craig, BHS South Theatre Dept. director Mary Forrester-Kinzer-Galvin-Sylvester, and Bernodette Robinson-Kinzer. The set, built by the hands of the IU scene shop regulars and summer school stagecraft class, is beautifully constructed and very practical in accommodating some of the strenuous action of the show.\n"It Runs in the Family" will be running through Saturday. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 988-2123. Friday and Saturday admission prices are $14.50 for adults and $7.50 for children.

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