Paul Gnadt’s Phenomenal Keene Star Reveiw of CASH ON DELIVERY

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CASH ON DELIVERY is Now Playing at PlazaCo through January 25th (two more weekends). And if you haven’t had a chance to see the show – what are you waiting for?!? Read Paul Gnadt’s excellent review of the show, THEN give us a call at 817-202-0600 to reserve your seats. Read on:
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THEATER REVIEW – by Paul Gnadt

You can bank on laughs at Plaza’s ‘Cash on Delivery’

Linda Swan, played by Alvarado Junior High drama director Kristi Mills, tries to make sense out of the signing efforts of Norman McDonald, played by G.

It’s been some time since Plaza Theatre Company cofounders JaceSon Barrus and G. Aaron Siler were paired together as leads, but when they are, you can see why these veterans have devoted their lives to the stage. They love it. And they’re very good.

Barrus and Siler, who opened PTC in late 2006 with their wives, Tina Barrus and Milette Siler, deliver what may be their best comic performances of PTC’s 70 previous productions in “Cash on Delivery,” playing through Jan. 25 at the Plaza Theatre in Cleburne.

The last time Barrus and Siler shared leading roles was last year in “Drowsy Chaperone,” and only sparingly before that.

Brenda Dixon, played by Stacey Greenawalt, gets in the face of Mr. Jenkins, played by Russ B. Walker, in the Plaza Theatre Company’s presentation of

This time they’re supported by other experienced community theater actors who understand how important it is to nail the facial reactions, physicality and precise timing required to pull off this British farce that is absolutely a side-splitting, laugh-a-minute evening of absurd hilarity.

The action is so fast-paced, the plot so impossible yet cleverly plausible, PTC did it right by surrounding Barrus and Siler with veterans Stacey Blanton, Jay Cornils, Stacey Greenawalt, Steven Lindsay, Kristi Taylor and Russ B. Walker, while giving key roles to relative newcomers Nathan Glenn and Kristi Mills, the drama director at Alvarado Junior High.

Just when you think it’s musical comedy that Plaza Theatre Company does best, along comes this straight comedy to change your tune.

No troupe does in-your-face door slamming, men wearing women’s clothes, disappearing dead bodies, mistaken identity and  group double takes better than PTC.

“Cash on Delivery” takes place in the living room in the London home of married couple Linda and Eric Swan on a rainy morning. Doors in the clever set designed by JaceSon Barrus, who somehow also directs this staged chaos, lead to an imaginary kitchen, laundry and bedroom. A partial stairs leads to a make-believe second floor.

Eric Swan, played by JaceSon Barrus, left, attempts to explain a situation to his Uncle George, played by Jay Cornils, in the Plaza Theatre Company’s

Every nook and cranny of PTC’s 160-seat theater-in-the-round is put to good use.

The story is about the exploits of Eric (Barrus), who lost his job a couple of years ago but didn’t tell Linda (Mills). Eric has pretended to leave the house for work but instead has been defrauding the British Department of Social Security by collecting benefits for myriad fictitious lodgers and their relatives.

One such tenant was Rupert Thompson, whose identity was assumed by Eric. The fun begins when welfare agent Jenkins (Walker) unexpectedly arrives to get the signatures of Thompson and his landlord, Eric, who are the same person.

This requires the fast-thinking Eric to frantically find someone to be him. Enter tenant Norman McDonald (Siler) who Eric has already claimed to the social security people to be dead.

Eric has been assisted in the ruse by his Uncle George (Cornils) who winds up lying unconscious on the couch while everyone thinks he’s dead, including the undertaker. The removal of the “body,” believed by the others to be one of three people, is a scream. His reappearance in a body bag is one of the funniest scenes in PTC history.

Things go absolutely insane when social worker Sally (Taylor), marriage counselor Chapman (Lindsay), social security supervisor Cowper (Blanton) and McDonald’s finance Brenda Dixon (Greenawalt) show up and try to figure out what’s going on.

You’ll laugh and laugh at Siler’s feigning to be deaf and attempting sign language and the physical chase scenes as Eric attempts to “pinch” some of the others.

And the laughs are genuine, not the embarrassed laughter usually elicited by the risqué double entendres that typically run amok in British comedies. To its credit, PTC has made this one family friendly.

Written by Michael Cooney, with costumes designed by Stacey Greenawalt, lighting by Cameron Barrus, sound by G. Aaron Siler, properties by Milette Siler and stage management by Stefanie Glenn, “Cash on Delivery” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays at the Plaza Theatre, 111 N. Main St. in Cleburne.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for age 65 and older and high school and college students, and $13 for children age 13 and under — and can be purchased online at http://www.plaza-theatre.com, or at the box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or by phone at 817-202-0600.

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  1. We are SOOOO EXCITED!!! Tracy is coming, too, and you will FINALLY be able to hear her laughing! I guarantee she won’t be able to maintain her usual level of public decorum and polite laughter at THIS show. You’ll finally be able to hear her laughing, louder than Michelle and me put together. She’ll whoop at least once. 🙂

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