A production of The London Merchant is about to begin when it is interrupted by a grocer and his wife, who demand that their apprentice Rafe be given a role in the play. They proceed to sit to the side and exhibit every bad audience behavior known to theater, from loudly unwrapping candy to falling asleep to interrupting the play to make suggestions (well almost all - they didn't have cell phones). The play continues with fights and love stories as such things do, and the cast of the play-within-a-play just tries to get through it.
Under the direction of Amber Bjork, everyone in the cast completely commits to the fun, light-hearted, and campy tone of the show. As the grocer and his wife, Ben Tallen and Rachel Flynn are quite hilarious to watch. George Dornbach as Rafe is delightfully earnest, with some expressive hair-flipping. The London Merchant cast includes David Schlosser, Grant Henderson, Julie Ann Nevil, Andrew Troth, and Becca Hart, stealing scenes as she plays increasingly more ridiculous toy instruments, from a recorder to an accordion to a tiny grand piano.
|George Dornbach is The Knight of the Burning Pestle|
(photo by Charles Gorrill)
This is much lighter fare that the dark and complex plays usually seen at Theatre Pro Rata. And as much as I love dark and complex, it's fun to see them let loose and be silly for a change. Knight of the Burning Pestle is quite silly indeed, and delightfully so (continuing through June 19).