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Caught in the Net

Ray Cooney's farces are regular and popular highlights of the Brown County Playhouse's seasons. Cooney's latest, "Caught in the Net," directed by Lynne Perkins, once again has energetic and ultra-organized taxi driver John Smith, played by Jonathan Molitor, shuttling back and forth between his two wives and households.

In Cooney's earlier comedy " Run for Your Wife," Smith had only to cope with keeping the two wives separate. In "Caught in the Net," he has teen-agers to cope with as well. There's a pouty daughter, Christine Perrotta, in one home and a punked out son, David Sheehan, in the other. Complications mount as the two meet on the internet and begin to compare remarkably similar life stories.

Allison Batty played the beleaguered mother of the daughter. Carmen Rae Meyers was the less beleaguered, but apparently equally puzzled mother of the son. David Cole playing an old fuddy-duddy neatly anchored some of the funniest scenes of the second half of "Caught in the Net."

The redoubtable Scot Purkeypile was the innocent lodger that the taxi-driving bigamist enlisted into the frequently hilarious toils of the wildly spiraling complexities of plots to keep the wives in the dark and the teenagers apart. Purkeypile did a marvelous job of treading the fine line of logic and lunacy. He should probably be paid at least time and a half for each performance.

Things do get sorted out in a surprising, yet logical fashion. Frankly, according to the rules of mysteries, the playwright hasn't played fair with the audience in terms of clues or foreshadowings, but what the heck it's a farce not an exercise in detection.

Ray Cooney's farce "Caught in the Net" at the Brown County Playhouse plays Wednesdays through Sundays through August twenty-eighth.

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