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BWW Review: THE GODS OF COMEDY at Stage Left Productions


BWW Review: THE GODS OF COMEDY at Stage Left Productions

During his opening curtain speech, Cody Dull, artistic director at Stage Left Productions, set the stage as if he were 'Emcee' from CABARET.

As director of THE GODS OF COMEDY, he left no snicker unturned in this two-hour romp by Ken Ludwig (author of LEND ME A TENOR, A FOX ON THE FAIRWAY, etc.).

The plot is simple. Daphne (welcome Valley newcomer Katryce Bridges) misplaces her boyfriend Ralph's (Cliff Williams) invaluable manuscript by Greek tragedian Euripides. When she calls on her Greek talisman for help, Dionysus (Hector Coris) and Thalia (Shelly Boucher) descend from Mount Olympus!

Coris is hysterical as Dionysus a.k.a. Bacchus. He and Bocher play so well off each other that you'll swear they were cut from the same toga. Rounding out this comic cast of characters are university Dean Trickett (Deborah Lee Hall), alumna Zoe/Brooklyn (Ixy Utpadel) and a Greek souvenir vendor, janitor and Ares the God of War (Thomas Graca).

Graca has a Peter Sellers-esque quality that was all the chatter of The Red Hat Society ladies during intermission. My only red flag was his vendor character running into the audience to hawk souvenirs. That and open mouth kissing on stage seem like risky behaviors right now.

Which brings me to my dilemma. I support the arts. I participate in the arts. But I'm also cautious of the arts. I know some theater companies are still waiting to reopen. Others had to reopen or shutter. Regardless of the model, nonprofit or for profit, health and safety should come first.

As best I could tell, less than a third of last Sunday afternoon's audience were masked. There was no social distancing and in full disclosure, I left during intermission. The problem? I was laughing so hard through my KN95 mask that it left me lightheaded.

Were I not dizzy, would I have stayed? Was my dizziness a manifestation of my anxiety about COVID? Is Omicron the Greek god of contagion?

I really want to see Act II, but I can't this weekend because "Due to COVID exposure, this weekend's performance of THE GODS OF COMEDY has been moved to February 3rd-6th." The question for me, for you, for anyone who enjoys or supports the arts is whether or not you feel safe doing so. If you do, enter at your own risk...and for the love of Thespis, wear a mask!

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From This Author - Lee Cooley