Confounding everyone’s plans is ever-present police inspector Truscott (Peter Van Norden).
Henning expertly guides his ensemble through all the subtlety and innuendo of Orton’s dialogue. What is lost is the sense of manic urgency that must swirl around the much put-upon McLeavy in order for the farcical elements to take off. There simply are too many meaningful glances and knowing looks. What is needed is more action.
Wolpe’s characterization as McLeavy cannot be faulted. He is the epitome of the good soul who cannot comprehend why, in his ordered, God-fearing, law-abiding world, things are not going the way they are supposed to. His constantly befuddled reactions to the craziness about him is the most comically rewarding aspect of the production.
Also deserving praise is Van Norden’s scenery-gnashing, larger-than-life portrayal of Truscott. Van Norden quite believably communicates the unscrupulous policeman’s nonchalant propensity for violence and comical ability to manipulate any fact or situation.
Thomas’ morbidly unemotional Fay exudes the requisite physical allure but her painstakingly measured delivery proves to be a constant stopgap to the intended comedy. O’Donnell’s Hal and Baker’s Dennis are seldom in synch with the flow of the action and appear self-conscious in communicating Orton’s homosexual innuendoes.
Alex Grayman’s sets and Jonathan T. Hagans’ lights provide a fine environment for the onstage action.