Monday, October 29, 2012

River City Community Players "Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody" by ghostpug6

Title: A Lot of Entertainment 
Rating: 4

A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody 
River City Community Players

Though the plot might be a bit hard to buy (telling a spouse that your New Year's resolution is to kill her before next New Year's Day), this story works because of some excellent performances by the actors. Best of all is Rich Bayse. His portrayal of inept Detective Plotnik is absolutely brilliant. His lines are funny and his physical comedy superb. I've seen a good bit of theater here at the local and KC Rep level, and he could work and excel on any stage. Bayse is a gifted actor and shows it in this play.

Danielle Knight plays Bunny, the airheaded daughter of the leading man and leading lady. Her comic timing is exceptional. Each of her lines elicits a laugh, and she manages to make a tedious character type truly likable.

Julie Head, Cape Rust, Ken Janasz and Kyle Young all turn in excellent performances as well. There are no weak links in the lineup, a testament to first-time director Jeff Adams' ability to both recognize and cultivate talent.

The set is professional level, obviously a result of much time and dedication by a team focused on delivering top-notch entertainment to its audience. Costumes are exceptional as well; rarely at the community theater level does one see actors dressed just as they should be, but that happens here thanks to the great work of costumer Nancy Mazzia.

I have to offer a warning. Apparently some attendees told the director that they were disappointed in the play's coarseness. True, this play is not really suitable for youngsters. Some might see an endorsement of alcohol use (I don't). Also, there are some risque moments, such as the butler's tendency to stare at the leading lady's, er uh, cleavage. While I don't think there is anything at all objectionable here, it is adult humor. Those whose sensibilities are easily offended might find themselves offended. There was no foul language that I remember. Bottom line: if you weren't offended by the old BBC show "Benny Hill," you won't find anything here that will bother you. On the whole, this was an enjoyable evening where talented actors displayed great comic talent.

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