TR Robertson — Not every play theatre goers take in has to have some deep message that tries to change the way people think and believe about some Earth moving subject. Sometimes it is fun to go to the theatre to simply escape from the problems of the world, to sit back and have a good laugh and to not have your emotions pushed and pulled. Broadway Vista seems to always find plays to include in their season ones that fit this category, a fun, entertaining, well-acted good time where you can leave the theatre with a smile on your face. Such is their current play, “Women in Jeopardy” by Wendy MacLeod, and directed by Broadway Vista co-owner Randall Hickman.
MacLeod is a Yale School of Drama graduate who currently teaches at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she is also their playwright –in-resident. Her play “Juvenilla” has appeared off-Broadway and “The Water Children” was called the most challenging political play of 1998. “Women in Jeopardy” premiered at the Geva Theatre in 2015. Her plays have been performed all over the United States. She has written 13 plays and numerous essays, many of which have been published in the New York Times.
“Women in Jeopardy” concerns three friends and what is happening in their lives. Two of the ladies are very concerned about the current boyfriend the other friend is dating, especially since his employee has recently disappeared. The boyfriend is a dentist, a most unusual dentist. The two friends try every trick in the book to try and convince their friend the boyfriend might be a potential serial killer. They will even use their friend’s 19 year old daughter and her ex-boyfriend to convince the friend to stop seeing the boyfriend. Mix in a less than efficient police sergeant, who looks amazingly like the dentist, and who develops romantic feelings toward one of the ladies, add in a very strange camping trip and oh yes, solving the mystery of the missing hygienist and “who done her in”. It all adds up to a good theatrical romp.
Photos provided by Broadway Vista
Several Broadway Vista veterans and several newbies make-up the cast for “Women in Jeopardy”. Playing friend Mary, probably the sanest of the three, is Li-Anne Rowswell Mufson. Mufson has performed in numerous plays in San Diego County theatres. Mufson has great facial expressions throughout the play and is hilarious as she deals with the advances of both a very young snowboarder and the police sergeant. Playing her friend, Jo, is another Broadway Vista veteran, Renetta Lloyd. Jo is the most frustrated of the three friends, mainly because everyone ignores her to the point she might as well not be in the room. Lloyd brings a perfect dead panned attitude to her role, as she knows best of all what is happening, but no one seems to care. The third friend, Liz, is played by another Broadway Vista veteran, Holly MacDonald Younghans, who had a memorable performance in “On Golden Pond”. She portrays Liz with ease as a woman in love, oblivious to the eccentricities and unusual behavior of her boyfriend, fluctuating between liking her friends and disliking her friends.
Playing both the weird dentist boyfriend and the love struck police sergeant is Torre Younghans. Torre, along with his wife Holly, have performed together in several Broadway Vista productions. His portrayal of the bizarre, eccentric dentist is over-the-top funny. As the police sergeant, he gives us a classic look at a man trying to impress Mary while ignoring friend Jo, but a man who will, somewhat, come-to-the-rescue in the end. The final two cast members include Shane Murphy as the clueless, sexy daughter Amanda, and her snowboarding boyfriend Trenner, played by Leif Corbell. The interaction between Mary, Jo and Amanda has you shaking your heads and laughing at the same time. Corbell’s brings to the stage a very funny “dude”, especially funny, along with Mufson, as the love-struck young man falling for an “older” woman.
There are no hidden messages, no great lessons to be learned in this play, unless it is don’t become a serial killer or opposites can indeed attract; but I guarantee you will have a fun time and this play will tickle your funny bone.
The Broadway Vista Famous Opportunity Drawing was in rare form with opportunities to win, in the raffle at intermission, items such as fur handcuffs or Jelly Flops or a St. Patrick’s Day scarf or clicking teeth or drinking glasses (the kind you wear) and a chance at the “Trifecta of Crap”. Support local theatre and you too can join in on the fun at a Broadway Vista performance. “Women in Jeopardy” will run through March 25th. Tickets can be purchased at www.broadwayvista.com or call 760-806-7905.