New farce pledges intrigue, mayhem
A secret meeting between a male CIA agent, a female secretary of state and the mysterious representative of an oil-rich island nation escalates into a libidinous farce in “Sin, Sex and the CIA,” a new play being performed over the next two weeks at the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown.
The meeting takes place in a remote cabin in Virginia and soon expands to include a cast of characters ranging from the cabin's caretaker, who refers to the CIA as the “Complete Idiots Academy,” to a clueless evangelist who comes to the cabin seeking help after his car breaks down. To further complicate matters, a major rainstorm strands everyone inside.
“It is a madcap night at a mountain cabin in Virginia. All sorts of intrigue and shenanigans take place,” director Guy Stroman says. “It's a very American play.”
It's also a very new play. The Mountain Playhouse production will be the show's professional premiere. It has previously been done only in two small theaters in Florida.
“I'm really trying to invent it as I go along,” Stroman says, since there is no precedent for the production. “Since it's such a new concept, there's no history to it. That makes it a fun challenge.”
Teresa Marafino, Mountain Playhouse's executive producer, says the play was chosen, in part, because it is so new. “We were looking for a farce we'd never done before,” she says. “Because part of our audience comes to everything we do.”
Stroman believes that audiences will enjoy the modern humor of the play. “It's just so crazy. It's like a great, extended version of (a ‘Saturday Night Live') skit.”
Behind the humor lies a foundation of reality. “There's just enough contemporary background in it to give it some reality, but the rest of it is just complete nonsense,” he says.
As for the “Sex” part, Stroman says, “everyone is trying to get some action.” He believes the show is appropriate for older teens and up. “It's tamer than anything they would see on ‘SNL,'” he says.
Martin Landry plays bumbling CIA rookie Luke James, who seems to do everything wrong, including setting a fire in the cabin's kitchen and getting caught in his own booby traps.
“He's very eager to do the job, but he's completely incompetent, and he proves that many, many times during the show,” Landry says.
The actor relishes the opportunity to play such a ridiculous character.
“It's a chance to do something completely over the top and outrageous, yet completely real. It's quite a challenge,” Landry says. He compares the show's style of comedy to the “Airplane!” and “Naked Gun” movies. “These people take themselves very seriously, but they are all outrageous,” he says.
Landry's castmates include Joe Joyce as Daniel Warren, Debra Gordon as Assistant Secretary of State Margaret Johnson, John Little as the Rev. Samuel Abernathy, Caroline Shannon as Millicent, Lisa Riegel as Heather Ann Farady and J.D. Daw as Ranger Don.
“People can expect a breathless, madcap, nonstop funny evening,” Stroman says. “This one stops only at the last curtain.”
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: No discipline for Capitals’ Wilson
- Woman charged for holding teen drinking party after video found at Penn-Trafford
- Bettman `intrigued’ by possible outdoor game at Beaver Stadium
- Rossi: Winnik nice, but not enough for Penguins
- Pirates willing to consider high salary to keep star McCutchen
- PennDOT to replace drivers licenses issued since November without proper security features
- Penguins finally find way to beat Capitals
- Pennsylvania House passes liquor system privatization bill
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Crews clean up ore spilled from train derailment in Butler County
- Federal grand jury indicts chief operations manager for Pittsburgh office of Horizons Hospice