By Cindy Whitehair
It’s October, which means it’s “whodunit” season and you won’t find a better whodunit than Sugar Factory Playhouse/West Jordan Arts Council’s Catch Me If You Can at the Pioneer Hall in West Jordan.
Daniel Corban (Marc Reading), an advertising executive, reports the disappearance of his new wife while on their honeymoon. Elizabeth (Nichole Marie Omana Keddington), a pretty young girl, comes claiming to be his wife but Daniel insists she is not his missing wife. The local Police Inspector (Sean Buckley) has more important things on his mind than a neurotic, possibly cuckholded, husband. However, the wife is not what she appears to be and is actually plotting, with the help of local parish priest Father Kelleher (Mike Dodge) to kill her husband for his insurance money. Throw in the unexpected appearance of his boss, Everett Parker (Bob Bedore) and his latest blonde bombshell (Jennifer Bedore), and the chaos is complete. There are more twists and turns than a Catskills Mountain road in this show written by Jake Weinstock and Willie Gilbert (based on the play by Robert Thomas.)
The acting in this show is stellar. Reading comes across as the often manic husband who is alternately being driven to distraction and insanity, and finally murder by both his “wife”, her accomplice (Father Kelleher) and a bumbling, inept police inspector. Buckley has more “take my wife please” jokes than Henny Youngman did on his best night. He kept the crowd rolling in the aisles. Keddington’s portrayal of the wife was a wonderful mixture of concern and cunning. She has you believing that she really is out to murder her poor beleaguered husband. But the show was stolen by the comic relief Buckley and local deli owner Sidney (Mark Ricards Fotheringham). Their performances were outstanding.
The set/stage (designed/dressed by Michelle Groves and built by Vic Groves) is the perfect recreation of a mid-60s Catskills hide-away, down to the obligatory console stereo system and shag carpet. The Pioneer Hall is a small space (it was built in 1859 as the local church) and the stage takes up approximately one-third of the space in the room. This helps the audience feel like they are part of the action – as opposed to just observers in a darkened auditorium. It’s an intimate setting that works well to keep you wrapped up in what is happening on stage. Travis Green’s direction keeps the action focused and tight. Given that we are not in a space designed for theater, the lighting and sound (Robbie Dalley) were fantastic. There were a couple of opening night cue glitches…. But everyone has those at one time or another and they really did not detract from the over-all experience (I had friends in the audience as well and they didn’t even notice it).
Catch Me If You Can was a HOOT!!!! I still have whip-lash from that final plot twist! It is a perfect way to start your Halloween season and if you are a fan of psychological thrillers – it is simply your must see show of the year.
The Sugar Factory Playhouse and West Jordan Theater Arts present Catch Me If You Can by Jake Weinstock and Willie Gilbert (based on the play by Robert Thomas)
The Pioneer Hall 1137 W 7800 South, West Jordan, UT, 84088 October 6-7, 9, 11-12 7:30 PM
Tickets: $8 general admission, $5 for children (12 and under), seniors (60 and over), students (with ID), and groups of 10 or more
Contact: 801-294-1242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sugar Factory Playhouse and West Jordan Theater Arts Facebook Page
Catch Me If You Can Facebook Event