When it comes to farce, there’s only one way to go: Engage in a temporary suspension of disbelief and enjoy yourself at the Santa Clara Players’ production of “Tangled Webbs,” running May 19 – June 10 at the Triton Museum Hall Pavilion.
“Tangled Webbs” is the improbable (or is it?) story of a rich, eccentric family whose handsome, long-lost brother shows up inopportunely as the family is preparing for a wedding.
“This show has been a lot of work for everyone, but it’s going to be very funny. With a lot of screwy characters. And peanut butter!” said SCP producer George Doeltz the week before opening night.
“A lot of farces have the same elements: mistaken identity, chasing people from room to room, lots of slamming doors, that sort of thing. Fortunately, the show doesn’t overdo that,” said Dave Leon, a Santa Clara resident directing his fourth show for SCP.
“It lets the audience spend some time with the characters and get to know them before the wackiness ensues.”
Playing Fenwick, an aging, cranky butler, Steven Knight’s biggest physical challenge is maintaining a raspy “aged” voice without damaging his vocal cords.
“Fenwick has a quick wit even though he’s physically old and slow,” said Knight.
Although debuting with SCP, the Santa Claran has been in community theater since 2012.
“Fenwick embodies that capacity we all have to get exasperated with the people around us when they get a little crazy, and that’s reinforced by his being a slow, doddering presence that contrasts with the other characters,” said Knight.
Native Santa Claran Patrick Idleman, who graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. Degree in Theater, returns to SCP for a fourth time, playing Donald Desmond (Webb), the long-lost brother.
“Donald embodies a feeling of genuine filial loyalty and affection as well as that classic question of nature vs. nurture,” said Idleman, adding that the physical comedy Donald is subjected to is the most challenging component of his role.
“He gets put through the ringer and boy does it show by the end,” said Idleman. “It’s exhausting just thinking about it, let alone doing it.
“It’s been a real pleasure collaborating with everyone in ‘Tangled Webbs’ to add the right interpretations of lines, scenes, and supporting details to make the entire play as funny as possible,” said Knight. “People [attending the show] should expect to smile and laugh!”
At Santa Clara University, dare to venture “Into the Woods” May 26 – June 4 at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre. In the Department of Theatre and Dance production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1987 musical, beloved fairy tales are given an unexpected twist as the fairytale heroes collaborate to save the world from destruction. (Better take notes!)
In Saratoga at South Bay Musical Theater, the classic American musical romance “Singin’ in the Rain” runs May 13 – June 3 and wowed the opening night audience. It is based on the 1952 MGM movie of the same title, starring Gene Kelly dancing and singing the title song.
May 26 – June 11, at Foothill College’s Lohman Theatre, “Infinite Black Suitcase” by American playwright E.M. Lewis tackles end-of-life issues as, over just one day, three families in a small Oregon town deal with the trauma of recent or impending death.
Farce, musical romance, musical fantasy, drama—take your pick. Better yet, reserve tickets to all four community and college theater productions. Enjoy the dramatic, post-COVID super bloom this spring.