I can’t remember a Brown County Playhouse audience laughing harder or as often as they did Saturday night at this summer’s farce, "One for the Pot" directed by Bruce Burgun. I could also add that I’ve never seen Hamlet’s line "To be or not to be…" get spontaneous laughter and applause, but that would take to much time to explain.
The "pot" of "One for the Pot" is owned by wealthy businessman and curmudgeon Jonathan Hardcastle, played with real authority by George Bookwalter. Hardcastle wants to give ten thousand pounds to the son of his late business partner. His only condition is that the son be the only remaining member of his family. Geoff Wilson plays the simple workman Billy Hickory Wood that Hardcastle is seeking. Aiding and abetting Billy is Robert Johansen as the scheming Charlie Barnett.
As students of the inexorable logic of farce we know that somehow the "one" that Wilson plays is going to turn into at least two and that Rob Johansen’s schemer is going to be baffled by the toils of his own strategies. Wilson does a thoroughly believable and engaging job in his multiple roles. Rob Johansen was a delight. Bruce Burgun’s direction was always flowing, always inventive and frequently my jaw dropped in delighted disbelief at the wildness of the show.
Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton’s farce "One for the Pot" plays Wednesdays through Sundays at the Brown County Playhouse through August 25th.