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Apple HIll's 'Wives' keep the laughs flowing

| Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011

Ron Ferrara of Vandergrift says he never met a farce he didn't like or want to direct.

That's why he jumped at the opportunity to direct Michael Parker's play that's all about misunderstandings at Apple Hill Playhouse.

He also found the farce "Whose Wives Are They Anyway?" extremely funny.

"When Apple Hill sent me the script for perusal, my wife and I read it out loud and laughed throughout," says Ferrara, whose directing credits include "Unnecessary Farce" and "Cash on Delivery" at Apple Hill, "Agnes of God" and "Noises Off" at Theatre Factory and "Out of Order" and "Steel Magnolias" at New Kensington Civic Theatre.

He says "Whose Wives" will provide audiences with an entertaining couple of hours, thanks to a talented cast.

"They will make you laugh out loud and you won't be embarrassed because everyone else will be laughing, too," he says. "I am proud to have assembled a cast that understands the need to perform with energy, pacing, speed, timing and physicality."

The actors find themselves constantly moving around a set containing seven doors, two additional entrances, two beds and a couch.

Greensburg actor Mike Crosby is busy onstage, too, as he portrays both John Baker, a cosmetic company vice president, and in one sticky situation, his co-worker David McGatchen's "wife." McGatchen, played by Michael Byrne, is another VP who switches sexes when the pair meets up with the new company president, Ms. Hutchinson (Pam Farneth), at a country club.

The guys' wives are off on a shopping adventure, leaving them looking forward to hitting the links. When the new boss comments that she'd never work with someone who left his wife for a weekend to go golfing, David and John are forced to try and produce "better halves" in a hurry.

It's not the first time that Crosby has played multiple characters onstage.

In a production of "The Three Musketeers," he was required to perform as four different characters; for a production of "Greater Tuna," his role called for him to portray a dozen characters -- half of them women.

" 'Whose Wives,' to me, is different, though. I don't necessarily view them as different characters. John is stuck in a bad, albeit very comical, situation which forces him to pretend to be a woman. He is still John and some of his characteristics are present even when he's wearing a wig and dress," Crosby says. "I don't view it as challenge; I just view it as fun."

In "Whose Wives," Briana Downs and Monica Filippone portray David's and John's "real" wives, respectively. Also in the cast are Mary Ferrara as the country club manager; Dennis Gills as the club handyman, and Meghan O'Halloran as the receptionist.

Additional Information:

'Whose Wives Are They Anyway?'

When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 25-27 and Sept. 1-3; and 2 p.m. this Sunday

Admission: $16; $13 on 'Thrifty Thursdays'

Where: Apple Hill Playhouse, Manor Road, Delmont

Details: 724-468-5050 or website

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