The comedic Unnecessary Farce truly lives up to its name, with classic slapstick humor that proves funniest when innocent moments get taken out of context.
Written by Paul Slade Smith and directed by Ray Ficca, Unnecessary Farce is the amusing story of two lovable – but unfortunately incompetent – cops’ attempt to catch a crook in the act. The officers believe that the town mayor is embezzling funds, so they enlist the help of his accountant in the hopes of catching the mayor’s confession on tape.
Add in a Scottish hitman, the mayor’s wife, lots of undressing and a video camera, and you have a comedy that draws laughter from a slew of characters’ clumsy mistakes and confusion.
But perhaps Unnecessary Farce’s most unique feature is that it is set in just two rooms in a hotel with eight doors that prove the show’s best prop, whether someone is accidentally locked in a room or gets unintentionally knocked out with a quickly-opened door.
But personally, I thought the best moments occurred whenever the adorable old mayor walked in on different characters tangled up together in compromising – albeit innocent – positions. That, and the increasingly hard-to-understand accent of the easily angered Scottish hitman.
Keegan Theatre’s intimate setting proves a great stage for Unnecessary Farce, allowing the audience to feel like they are in the hotel rooms with a close-up of every comic mistake.
Unnecessary Farce is at Keegan Theatre through February 10. Learn more here.
Keegan Theatre: 1742 Church St. NW, DC; 202-265-3767; www.keegantheatre.com