Imagine five people coming together that think they’re smarter than everyone else but who are really just as dumb as they are criminally minded. Now imagine, in hilarious Three’s Company Jack Tripper style, these same people screwing up even the simplest of plans triggering circumstances to spiral out of control. Imagine how funny it would be when they are all incapable of taking responsibility as things go wrong and always ready to blame one another. You’ll find such a cast of outrageous, almost evil cartoonish like characters, in Post Productions dark quirky comedy Criminal Genius by George F. Walker.
Post Productions has taken the hilarity of this play and brought in a superb cast that are bang on in delivering lines, in cartoon character style, complete with simpleminded Canadian Prairie accents, scandalous facial expressions, intense inflections and wild body language for a night of non stop laughs.
Director and co-producer Michael K. Potter says, “Criminal Genius is apparently one of Walker’s most performed works but I’ve never seen it before. I’ve only read a couple of his works. One of our playwriting contest judges was a big fan and suggested this one. So we read it last spring and it made us laugh. Usually when you read a comedy script it doesn’t make you laugh, you have to see it performed, it usually really doesn’t come off the page.”
“The songs in the play are by artists from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. I chose them because I wanted to set our version in the Prairies because I’m from Manitoba. I told the cast they don’t have to do an accent from a specific region, I suggested Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Dakotas, Eastern Montana, Western Minnesota, anywhere in that area. And I wanted the music to sort of reflect the location.”
The play starts off in a seedy motel room with father-son partners in crime Rolly (Michael K.Potter) and Stevie (Nikolas Prsa) after they botch up a restaurant arson job they were hired for. Motel manager Philly (Joey Ouellette) who has a massive alcohol problem and is almost always drunk shows up demanding the pair either vacate the room or pay for another night. Rolly offers his shoes and demands his son Stevie also gives Philly his watch. Twisted and amusing the watch, stolen off of a corpse, was a gift from Rolly to Stevie. The cast playing the drunken stumbling Philly and high strung Rolly and Stevie delivered non-stop laughs especially with their facial expressions. The fun continues when Rolly and Stevie’s local crime boss Shirley (Fay Lynn) barges in. Her demeanor was nothing short of brilliant as she demanded to know why they couldn’t successfully complete a simple arson job.
When the pair reveal they were able to kidnap the restaurant chef, Amanda Castle (Rebecca S. Mickle), Shirley flys off the handle. But Amanda quickly turns from victim to the wackiest criminal of all. Mickle kills it as she plays Amanda convincing the others they have no choice but to help her overthrow her father, who is actually one of the biggest crime bosses in town. The whole situation goes completely out of control, as do the laughs the cast draws from their audience. What happens next is a must see and this production is highly recommended by us here at Eyes On Windsor.
Being the first live theatre production in town in nearly eight months, Post Productions has put together an amazing, well deserved, post lockdown treat for audiences!
“I’m excited to perform for actual humans in actual seats,” says Potter. “It’s been eight months since Beauty Queen. We went from the end of February to the beginning of October without performing in front of an audience too.”
Post Productions has just wrapped up their second weekend of sold out shows. With only one more weekend to go, August 5, 6, and 7, it’s highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance as soon as possible as by the weekend they’ll most likely be sold out again.
Criminal Genius by George F. Walker, directed by Michael K. Potter, and produced by Fay Lynn, Nikolas Prsa, and Michael K. Potter, is being performed at The Shadowbox Theatre (103b – 1501 Howard Ave., Windsor, ON).
For more information or tickets visit http://www.postproductionswindsor.ca