With a "show must go on" spirit, stage manager Tyson Sears has stepped up to direct Apple Hill Playhouse's production of "Caught in the Net."
When veteran director Ron Ferrara had to bow out of the show close to its opening date, Sears says he agreed to take over in order to preserve Ferrara's vision for the production.
"I know what he wants and why he made the choices he made. If you were to bring in another director this late in the game, he may have an entirely different take on the theme, tone and 'spine' of the show," Sears says. "Any farce demands clarity."
Sears is relying on "an extraordinarily talented cast" to give audiences a pleasant taste of British playwright Ray Cooney's brand of comedy. With a large portion of slamming doors, ringing phones and fast-pace dialogue, "Caught in the Net" is a typical farce that leading actor Rick Dutrow finds very amusing.
Dutrow portrays John Smith, a British taxi driver with a nasty little secret. He is a bigamist who until now has managed to maintain two reasonably normal family existences in different parts of London. However, major problems arise when his teenage children - - a girl from one family and a boy from the other -- meet on the Internet and decide to arrange to meet in person as they have so much in common, including a dad who's a taxi driver.
"Ray Cooney is truly the king of British comedy right now, and I'm always excited to act in one of his creations. He's an incredible writer and off-the-charts funny," Dutrow says.
Dutrow has appeared at Apple Hill in productions of "A Ladies Man," "The Rainmaker" and "The Nerd." He has performed in numerous stage productions, commercials, industrial films and made-for-TV movies in the Pittsburgh area for the past 30 years. He was a theatrical performance major at St. Vincent College.
Sears says his biggest challenge as director -- in addition to his own major role change -- is in helping the cast to achieve precision in their portrayals of characters while giving them "the freedom to surprise us."
The cast also includes Kaylee McGregor, Brandon Farnath, Pam Farnath, Renee Ruzzi-Kern, Scott Ludwig and Dennis Gills.
Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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