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Rosewater Theatre Company1
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
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REVIEWS

Funny Money, by Ray Cooney
A hysterical British farce that will have you falling out of your seats wit
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
5.0
Having attended many mediocre community theatre productions in the Roswell and Cumming area, I am pleased to have recently discovered a place where professionally quality can be found, produced by a premiere production team with quality and caliber unmatched by any other nearby theatre.

The Rosewater Theatre in Roswell has brought Ray Cooney laugh-fest to madcap life with their current production of Funny Money, playing through April 1 on the Cabaret Stage. This is a show everyone must see, for certainly if you do so you will laugh your head off.

Henry Perkins, perfectly cast and brilliantly played by Josh Ellis, has the misfortune of accidentally picking up someone else's briefcase. Only later does he discover that it contains a fortune in untraceable currency. With no way in which to return the briefcase, and mindful that the true owner, who is certainly a criminal, now possesses his name and address from the contents of his own satchel, Henry decides to take the money and run.

What follows are a serious of increasingly preposterous complications involving his wife Jean who doesn't want to go anywhere except to the liquor cabinet, his friends Vic and Betty who become enablers, a pesky taxi cab driver and no fewer than two detectives with different reasons for coming to the Perkins house. The farce reaches its climax when the owner of the briefcase arrives to claim what is rightfully his, sparking an uproarious chase scene.

This farce is magnificently realized by its director, Lisa Sherouse Riley. The bulk of the play's humor revolves around the hordes of imaginary relatives created by Henry, Jean and others as excuses for various characters' presence or absence, and the difficulty in keeping them straight. I wouldn't have been surprised if one of them finally announced that "I'm my own grandpa!" In addition to variations on this one joke, the complete disintegration of moral standards provides one comic shock after another.

In the course of the play, the otherwise straight-laced characters sink to deception and outright lying, greed, alcohol abuse, bribery, implied homosexual activity, group sex and spouse swapping. There's a "no harm no foul" caveat to the piece, and though the social order isn't fully restored, at least the play has a happy ending. But the idea of how a small sin can erode and then let loose a flood of degenerate behavior leaves a lasting impression. For this reason, Funny Money is a surprisingly, and perhaps unintentionally moral farce.

Rosewater is a superb theatre, and Funny Money is a superb production. G. Scott Riley and Lisa Sherouse Riley have done a grand job with their company over the past year. In these tough economic times, we need to rally around those artistic treasures that provide high caliber, top professional quality productions. Nearby institutions may not survive, and perhaps they shouldn’t. On the other hand, the Rosewater Theatre is a treasure we must all protect, and we can do our part now by attending the fabulous Funny Money.

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