STAGE Magazine Reviews ‘I Didn’t Do It’

Board Game Comes Alive at Hatboro’s Village Players
A review by Kevin Korowicki of STAGE Magazine

Cast of I Didn't Do It
The Cast of I Didn't Do It

Village Players hosted their Summer Show, I DIDN’T DO IT, an adapted piece by Jonathan Lynn, to a nearly full house on Friday, August 20. This was Lynn’s attempt at creating a live, old fashion board game by providing clues as to who of the many invited guests to an old gothic mansion was the killer responsible for at least six murders. But because of legal reasons, which are still a mystery, the group was not permitted to mention “which” board game, but I already gave you a clue.

The cast of I DIDN’T DO IT – Dishing up light summer fare and murder mystery fun at Village Players of Hatboro.

The show, directed by rookie Zachery J. Palmer and assisted by Alexis Newbauer, attempts to provide the audience with a maze of possibilities as to who did in the poor unfortunates. At times, this tedious work tries the patience of any true detective, with repeated attempts at the same joke for humor and a whirlwind of numerous set changes. This created problems for the crew of the show; lighting miscues were apparent. Village Players is fortunate to have curtains and maybe these changes could have taken place behind the drapes. Palmer and Newbauer did their best to make up for the piece’s failings. Newbauer, who was also Wardrobe Mistress, actually should be commended for her efforts to make the show look good. The costumes were dead on (sorry), and made everyone on stage pop. Palmer also used the stage, the wings and even the back of the house to keep adding twists to the show and I congratulate the effort to keep the audience engaged.

Despite the lack of a well-written script, the cast did a professional job. Headlining was Nigel Rogers in a Monty Python like performance as the Narrator/Butler. His fast paced verbals were a joy to laugh at. He kept the show on track and fed well-timed set up lines to other actors. Lorie Baldwin benefited from Nigel’s good work. Baldwin’s Lucille Ball- like facial expressions and screams were a hoot as Mrs. Turquoise and she was dressed in such. Angie Schlauch as Yvette, the perennial French Maid (yes, high heels, black fishnet hosiery etc.), received tons of laughter from the house with appropriate “bend-overs” showing her sexuality. Oh yes, she spoke in that seductive French accent too.

Thomas Settefrati, as the nerdy guy with a secret (actually two secrets), was a constant source of pratfalls and schtick. He was an audience favorite, as was Jen Newby, who, despite being on stage for milliseconds, provided the audience with one of the night’s biggest laughs as the Singing Telegram Girl. Other members of the cast included Coz Baldwin, Brett Bertolino, Fran Carroll, Chris Dewitt, Jacki Green, Colleen Mackle, Sara Nash, Nancy Tan, Renaldo Verde and Jon Zucker. All these actors were either accused of or murdered… on stage that is.

The audience came away with giggles and snickers from this “who did it”. Overheard comments from audience members were “quaint” and “cute”. Nearly one hundred patrons were treated to three different endings to the show, I guess like a board game would allow. Maybe it was the writer’s way of saying, “I can’t decide, you pick…” Good job Hatboro, you made the evening of Board games fun!

I DIDN’T DO IT
by Jonathan Lynn
Directed by Zachery Palmer
August 20 – 22, 2010

Village Players of Hatboro
401 Jefferson Street
Hatboro, PA 19040
215-675-6774

View more local theater events and news at http://www.stagepartners.org/

Leave a Reply