By Edith McCauley
Pec Playhouse’s current production, Waste MisManagement, the world premiere of an original play written by Dan Doyle, former criminal trial lawyer and judge, is somewhat based on past experience. When the defense cannot produce the body, the difficulty arises. In this case, rumor had it that the corpse was in a landfill — not so.
Doyle has used the characters and circumstances to create a situation filled with humor, and every bit of dialogue ends with a line reminiscent of the days of vaudeville.
Obviously, the audiences are receiving the humor enthusiastically. Playing for three weekends, many shows are sold out. Jamie Button, well known for his fine acting in local theater, is the first-time director. In speaking with him briefly before the show, he expressed his satisfaction with the cast and the entire crew. In comedy, timing is everything, and Button has captured that in this production.
Douglas Rappa plays J.B. Hornsby, the attorney who finds himself involved in a murder well beyond his experience. Newcomer to Pec Playhouse, Erin Philpott is Mugsy, Hornsby’s ditsy secretary. Her high-pitched voice suits the personality of the character, and constant movement only enhances that image.
Judge Goatsworth, played by Patrick Barkdoll, is the bumbling judge in a courtroom filled with confusion.
Rosemary Collins has been a part of the Legal Follies for many years and served on the bench with Doyle. Her role as Beulah Thistlebottom aiding the local police with her ability to hear the voices of the dead is enhanced by the most outlandish of costumes.
Laurie Miller is Stacy Jenkins, the wife of the victim, who seems determined to give every detail of his disappearance, further implicating herself.
As the story ends, we find no one seems to be the character the playwright made us believe really existed … very clever.
Waste MisManagement plays through Feb. 26 with performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For tickets, call (815) 239-2012. Better hurry — shows are selling out.
From the Feb. 22-28, 2012, issue