SONORA — Fast-moving comedy comes to the East Sonora stage through June 28 in Sierra Repertory Theatre’s Unnecessary Farce.
“It’s a really, really funny piece,” said Dennis Jones, Sierra Rep’s producing director, who directs the show. “I hope your sides will be hurting because you’ll be laughing so much.”
In a small-town motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant. Next door, two undercover cops are supposed to catch the meeting on video tape. But there’s confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man – and a whole lot more.
Jones said the American comedy has roots in classic farce and is similar to previous Sierra Rep hits Noises Off and Run For Your Wife. Jones’ version is set in the 1980s, with music to match. There are madcap characters and sexual innuendo. Actors dash in and out of adjoining rooms in hasty entrances and exits. Everyone is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It’s all part of the rhythm of the comedy,” Jones said.
Outrageous characters will also catch audiences’ attention. There’s a six-foot-four-inch tall Scottish assassin played by Pat Pinney, a well-known Los Angeles area voice actor. Pinney, a friend from Jones’ days studying theater at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, captivated him with his outrageous humor – and outrageous accents. Audiences may recognize Pinney as the voice of the opening song for Spongebob SquarePants. His credits also include Robot Chicken, GI Joe, The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, Scooby Doo and Harry and The Hendersons.
Daniel Hines (of Sierra Rep’s Carousel and I Love A Piano) returns to Sierra Rep as Eric after playing the lead role in the national touring production of the Broadway musical Memphis. Sierra Rep newcomer Kristin Howell is Billie. Together, they play the police officers tasked with the undercover sting to bring down the dimwitted mayor (Sierra Rep favorite Ty Smith). Also in the show is Nick Ferruci, part of the Sierra Rep cast of last fall’s All My Sons and It’s A Wonderful Life. He plays Agent Frank, head of security at city hall.