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Funny Money
a British Farce
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Ray Cooney

COMPANY : Rosewater Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Rosewater Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 3323

SHOWING : March 06, 2009 - April 04, 2009

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Funny Money" is a far from simple story about an everyday, run-of-the-mill man, who takes the London Tube home every day from work. Then one day after getting off the Tube, he stops to get his gloves and scarf out of his briefcase and discovers that the briefcase he has is not his briefcase at all. Insead of finding his scarf and gloves, he finds the British equivalent of 1.5 million dollars. Rather than turning the briefcase in to lost property or the police, he rushes home, tells his wife they are emigrating that night, and immediately books them first-class tickets on a flight to Barcelona. His wife, used to a husband who's a bit of a wimp, doesn't take to the new Henry quite so easily. Their world steadily becomes more outrageous over the course of the evening with the arrival of two different policemen and friends celebrating Henry's birthday, as Henry does and says whatever it takes so that he can keep the money as well as avoid jail.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what is known as British farce.


CAST & CREW LIST
Detective Sergeant Slater Jorge Casales
Henry Perkins Josh Ellis
Jean Perkins Eileen M Fulford
Passerby Jerry Jobe
Bill Jimmy Johnson
Detective Sergeant Davenport Kevin Kreissl
Vic Johnson Peter Perozzi
Betty Johnson Ariana Savalas
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REVIEWS

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A hysterical British farce that will have you falling out of your seats wit
by darwin
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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Prepare to LAUGH!!
by playgoer
Saturday, March 7, 2009
5.0
If you like British farce, you'll LOVE "Funny Money" at the Rosewater Theatre. The script is solid, with lots of pleasurable twists and turns. Add to that first-rate performances and break-neck direction, and you have two hours of non-stop hilarity.

The serviceable set contains a number of doors, but don't expect the rapid-fire exits and entrances of a typical farce. Here, it's the front door of the house that gets the most action; the kitchen and dining room doors work mostly to keep the police waiting offstage while the onstage shenanigans take the focus.

And, boy, are there shenanigans! There's physical shtick, there's layer upon layer of mistaken identities, there's sexual innuendo -- all the elements you expect in farce, and all done to the nines (as lies lie upon lies at sixes and sevenses).

Josh Ellis as Henry Perkins takes control of the stage from his first silent moments. His physical comedy is great (just the way his hands skitter over the edge of the sofa as he moves away from a ringing phone is laugh-inducing). His accent is great, and the way thoughts fly transparently across his face adds immensely to the joy of the production.

Everyone gives their all. The pace never flags, and everyone brings nice touches to their characters. Just watching Ariana Savalas and Peter Perozzi, as friends Betty and Vic Johnson, try to keep up with the ever-changing circumstances brings laughs, never mind their great delivery once they open their mouths. Eileen Fulford, as wife Jean Perkins, unwillingly sets up the first sequence of lies, then gets so sloshed she can't put on a coat, in a great bit of physical business. Jorge Casales and Kevin Kreissl, as two policemen, bring unique twists to their distinct legal perspectives. Jimmy Johnson brings great energy to his role as the taxi driver, Ben.. oops, that's Bill. And Jerry Jobe does his best to be threatening and an effeminate teapot at once (quite a feat!).

All in all, "Funny Money" is one of the funniest plays I've seen in quite some time. The Chevy Chase movie version diluted some of the fun in a trans-Atlantic swap, but Rosewater's production showcases it all in the sparkling British original. Kudos to director Lisa Sherouse Riley for putting it all together with such a frenetic, breathless pace! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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