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LCN REVIEW - ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS
“One Man , Two Guvnors” is Flat Out Funny.
By Eleanor Cade Busby
One Man, Two Guvnors is an English adaptation of Servant of Two Masters, a
1743 Commedia dell'arte style comedy play by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni, adapted
by Richard Bean.
In the Heartwood and Lincoln Academy version the story itself, concerning mistaken
identity in glorious Shakespearean tradition, is almost inconsequential.
Someone is dead. Someone else is a murderer. Two couples are caught up in the
mayhem, simply in search of understanding and love.
Toss in an elderly waiter a la Tim Conway, a man who seeks only to find a way to get
dinner , a blossoming feminist (1960s version), a dimwitted duo to die for and this is a great
time with no thinking needed, had by all.
Fraternal twins, pairs of pining lovers and starving
servants are thrown into this stew of silliness, which aspires at nothing more than yuks.
What really matters are the scenes, some based on wordplay, some on comic timing, and
almost all with outlandish physical routines that are pure gold.
Sam Bailey plays Francis Henshaw, the title dolt in this farce. Bailey has a field day. No
shtick is left unturned as he unabashedly throws himself (literally) into silly bits of physical
comedy. His brilliantly done fight with himself is worth the admission.
Bailey also proves a master at apparently spontaneous interaction with those members of the audience foolhardy enough to sit in the front row.
The perpetually famished fellow must sidestep mayhem at every turn or risk the wrath of
Roscoe Crabbe (Addison Vermillion) a knife-wielding hood, and Stanley Stubbers (Nicholas
Miaoulis), a posh upper-class con man.
Roscoe was set to marry Pauline (Chloe Gulchanicz) before he appeared to be offed by a
hothead. Gulchanicz makes Pauline one as one of the funniest and dumbest blondes seen onstage. That her signature line “I don’t understand” was getting laughs before she even said is a
mark of excellent timing.
The wonderful slapstick of Channing Nelson gets some of the biggest laughs as Alfie, an
elderly waiter who repeatedly takes a header down the stairs.
In Act Two, finally fed, Francis turns his attention toward a bookkeeper named Dolly
(Thalia Eddyblouin) and a getaway to Majorca, Spain. Eddyblouin is a delight and she and
Bailey are hilarious together.
The production is enhanced by the energy of the skiffle band, “The Craze” a Fab Four
facsimile. The band provides lively entertainment before the show and during intermission, and
lingers at the edges of the stage throughout — also jumping in during set changes to keep things
lively. The Craze featured Noah Jones, David Oh, Lucas Steinberger and Gabby Kimball. They
were backed up the considerable talents of Noelle Timberlake, Phoebe Pugh, and Genevieve
The ensemble, a necessity to Commedia dell'arte features the talents of Caleb Eugley,
Jonah Diaute, Toru Fiberesima, Harrison Ransley, Matt Wilson, Sam Ransley, Johanna Neeson, and Shiann Keene.
Director Griff Braley has stepped up to the plate and brought a romp to the stage where
no one dies or is truly evil, save a murder or two. With the able assistance of Wade Johnson , as
consultant for the skiffle band and costumes by Jaclyn Buck , the team provides a remedy for the
long dark nights coming: belly laughs.
It is a delightful production, start to finish and one suitable for all but the youngest
Highly recommended for those who like catchy expressions not heard before, this is the
show. Here’s a memorable one from this show: “Men. They’ll do anything to get you into bed. Lie. Cheat. Buy you a bed.”
The production continues until November 5, 6, & 7 at Lincoln Academy. Tickets are $8 for students, $16.00 for adults. Curtain is at 7:30