Rover Dramawerks has a penchant for choosing quirky, very pleasurable comedies, with strong narrative structure and well-conceived characters. Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? is no exception. A clever farce that seems inspired by the Byzantine gizmos of Rube Goldberg, Who Was That...opens with distraught college teacher David Williams (Jack Piland) in tears. His wife Ann (Keila Lorenc) has caught him in flagrante with a foreign exchange student, fled the scene, and declared she is filing for divorce. Overcome with despair, Jack appeals to his best friend, Michael Haney (Jake Shanahan) for a way to salvage his marriage. Being a television writer, Michael has such an imaginative, outlandish solution, that it just might work. David will tell his wife he is an agent for the FBI, and was kissing the young lady in the line of duty. Michael calls his resourceful prop man, Schultz (Kevin Michael Fuld) to supply a convincing ID and a gun. Naturally, David needs some convincing, before agreeing to this ridiculous plan. And thus our adventure begins.
Written by Norman Krasna, Who Was That has a kind of 70’s feel to it : beautiful women, philandering men, far-fetched plots, foreign intrigue. Honestly, how can you go wrong with cartoony characters like Lee Wong (Yusuf Yildiz ) the resauranteur who could pass for Fu Manchu, Gloria (Veronica Day ) and Florence Coogle (Melissa Torres) the giggly sisters named for Jewish pudding and Parker (Janette Oswald) the government agent who could put Sister Aloysius to shame? Michael is the wily confederate to his buddy David, who just the comfort of a secure marriage with the love of his life. Michael just can’t resist getting into trouble and taking David along. As you might suspect, pretty much anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. But in comparison to the current trend to flaunt even the most cursory logic for the sake of a gag, Who Was That holds up nicely, with a satisfying number of surprises along the way. It’s a refreshing change from the cynicism that informs so much humor these days. (Not that cynicism can’t work.) Director Carol Rice, orchestrating a versatile, loopy and diligent cast : Piland, Shanahan, Lorenc, Fuld, Yildiz, Day, Torres, Oswald, Steve Roberts, J.R. Bradford and Cynthia Beene has concocted a giddy, frantic romp that’s gobs of fun.
Rover Dramawerks presents Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? Playing July 31st-August 23rd, 2014, with an extra matinee: 2 PM, Saturday! 221 West Parker Road, Suite 580, Plano, Texas 75023.(972) 849-0358. www.roverdramawerks.com