What is it about farces and hotels? Nothing like this ever happens to us at the Holiday Inn.
Stage Door Players’ presentation of Roy Cooney’s “Out of Order” is just another old, suite song of madcap misunderstandings. It’s English (which always helps). It’s set in the Thatcher era, and it involves, of course, a lovers’ tryst. One Richard Willey, an aide to the prime minister, has rented rooms in a London hotel for a few lascivious antics with a naïve typist from the opposition party.
We know, of course, that a hotel has many rooms, and a farce has many complications. Soon we’re dealing with a jealous husband, a private secretary, a wife, the secretary’s mother’s nurse, the helpful hotel staff, a frequently disappearing body, and one very talented window.
Heading up an excellent ensemble cast is Matthew Myers as Mr. Willey, Jenny Holden as Jane, the typist, and Terry Guest as George Pigden, the politician’s straight-laced secretary. These three exceptional actors carry the show’s rapid-fire dialogue and are spot on with their physical comedy as well. Myers is great at Willey, telling one bald-faced lie after another to save his neck. Holden brings a bit of innocence to her batty character, quite a challenge since she spends most of her time onstage in her underwear. And Guest nails the nervous, put-upon role of Pigden.
The window is a newcomer to Stage Door.
James Baskin is the prim and proper hotel manager, eager to please the local politician until things begin to go a little too far. Rial Ellsworth returns to Stage Door as a waiter who always shows up at the most inconvenient time. Pat Bell also returns to Stage Door, this time as a maid whose command of the English language extends no farther than bed-making.
Rounding out the cast are Davin Allen Grindstaff as The Body, Doug Graham as Ronnie, Stephanie Wilkinson as Pamela Willey, and Dina Shadwell as Nurse Gladys Foster. Grindstaff must be part dishrag to have endured some of his treatment onstage. Graham is hilarious as the manic jealous husband. And Wilkinson and Shadwell are both amusing in their roles as two women caught in the middle of things that are not as they seem.
Once again Director Robert Egizio has offered up a show filled with mirth at an opportune time for a good laugh. Kudos to Chuck Welcome for his lovely set of the posh hotel that must withstand an awful lot of slammed doors. Jim Alford’s costume design and George Deavours wig design bring us back to the 1990s, assisted by John David Williams’ lighting and Dan Bauman’s sound. And production manager Courtney Loner, stage manager/technical director Hampton Whatley and assistant stage manager Bill Byrne excel at their backstage duties, making all the magic happen.
“Out of Order” continues through Oct.14 with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $22 for students.
Better yet, purchase season tickets. “Out of Order” is the first show of the 2012-2013 season, and season tickets for all six shows are still on sale for $144 for adults and $132 for students or seniors. Five-show flex passes and four-show mini flex passes are also available at reduced prices.
For more information, call the box office at (770) 396-1726 or visit stagedoorplayers.net. Stage Door Players performs at the North DeKalb Cultural Center at 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, next to the Dunwoody Library.