The Shawnee Theatre of Greene County is presenting Jack Sharkey’s comedy "Saving Grace." Director Mathew Graeber and a solid cast present a show that was warmly received by Thursday’s opening night crowd.
The cast is a mix of Shawnee veterans with outstanding newcomer Jeffrey Taylor. "Saving Grace" opens as secretary Grace Larkin, played with a charming weary innocence, by Clarisse Behr, is about to succumb to the unrelenting campaign of her insurance executive boss, Walter Chepple. Lebron Benton as Walter manages to make him a good deal more human than monstrous. Things get complicated when a telephone repairman played by Jeffrey Taylor arrives.
As you might expect in any Shawnee Theatre production, shenanigans ensue. Somehow, and I’m a little fuzzy on this, it becomes vital that the telephone repairman pretend that he is actually a professional burglar. In addition, he’s a burglar who’s married to Grace. Grace’s sister Hariet played by Kathryn Pleasant Joos arrives. More shenanigans ensue. Hariet is closely pursued by her fiancé, Jonathan Markanday, a wild "Robin Williams style" fundamentalist preacher. Still more shenanigans ensue!
By the end of the evening everyone in "Saving Grace" has become a bit wiser. The preacher has been rebuked for intolerance and departed to a substantial amount of individual applause.
Grace’s boss, Walter, has proved a good deal more human and vulnerable than we thought. Grace’s sister Hariet has become a bit more down to earth and savvy. Walter and Hariet are nicely paired.
Grace herself has had quite an evening of experience and sees herself in a much more positive way. Alex, has confessed that he is not a criminal burglar, but merely a regular repairman. Alex and Grace are in love. If this were Shakespeare, we’d have a wedding song and dance.
"Saving Grace" at the Shawnee Theatre of Greene County plays this evening and Saturday at eight.
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