Small town life is as boring as it is interesting. When the creamery is the most exciting thing to do in town, and everything makes the local paper, what’s a big city reporter to do when he finds himself trapped in the tiniest town imaginable? The answer is found in the Santa Clara Players’ latest production, “You Can’t Get There from Here.”
While reporter Arthur Lyman (Ian Douglas) is sniffing out a story – searching for a reclusive Pulitzer Prize–winning author – he accidentally drives over a pothole in Shadow Falls, a teeny, tiny city where all government department duties are shared between two sisters, Liz (Helena G. Clarkson) and Myrtle (Carolyn Ford Compton). Upon realizing the “government” charges for everything and voted to keep the pothole on Elm Street, Lyman pitches a new story to his editor, Dolores van Damm (Elizabeth Lawrence) – the scam Shadow Falls is running to dupe big city spenders out of their money.
Of course, within 24 hours, Lyman realizes that things aren’t what they appear and calls van Damm to tell her the story is off and there’s nothing to report, leading his overly pushy boss to travel to Shadow Falls herself.
All the while, Lyman is falling hard for Liz and Myrtle’s niece, Ann (Tonya Duncan), and the town’s local reporter, Queenie (Amy Wright), keeps showing up to find a story of her own to report.
Somehow in the mix, Lyman is pulled across town by the town’s “guard dog,” fined eight times and fired from his job. There are witches and séances gone wrong and plenty of quotes from Shakespeare – basically, chaos ensues – before Horrace (Steven Corelis), the publisher of the paper employing Lyman and van Damm, shows up to straighten everything out.
“You Can’t Get There from Here,” penned by Pat Cook and directed by Cindy Powell, is the Players’ final production of 2014–2015. Although it doesn’t take much sleuthing to determine outcome of this particular show – the plot twists are simple and easily figured out – it’s short (run time is approximately one hour and 30 minutes, plus a 15 minute intermission), and enjoyable, as the pace of the comedy moves quickly and the audience is never bored.
Duncan, Wright and Lawrence are all newcomers to the Santa Clara Players’ stage and each is delightful in their roles, while returning performers (particularly Ford Compton) are wonderful additions to the seven–person cast, making “You Can’t Get There from Here” one of the best Players’ productions of the season.
“You Can’t Get There from Here” runs through June 6, with remaining shows scheduled for May 22–23 and 29–30 and June 4–6 at 8 p.m. and May 24 and 31 at 2:30 p.m. All performances at are the Triton Museum Hall Pavilion, 1505 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara, 95050. Tickets are $16 with senior and student discounts available and can be purchased through www.scplayers.org/reservations or by calling 408–248–7993.