Perfect Nonsense – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If you are fond of the prolific writings of P. G. Wodehouse, a British author who has championed the antics of employer Bertie Wooster and his faithful valet Jeeves, you will be in your glory with Hartford Stage’s latest comic offering “Perfect Nonsense.” Penned by twin brothers David and Robert Goodale, this delightful farce will be making its North American debut until Saturday, April 20 at the Hartford Stage.

Fancying himself somewhat of an actor and a storyteller, Bertie Wooster, a personable Chandler Williams, has jumped feet first into a one- man show on London’s West End. No sooner ha the curtain risen when Bertie regretfully realizes he needs his loyal and trustworthy valet Jeeves, a capable and accommodating Arnie Burton, if he is to have any chance of success on the stage.

A fast paced farce with slapstick humor, love affairs gone wrong, a threatening Fascist dictator, a search for a missing notebook, a valuable silver cow-creamer and a missing policeman’s helmet, all figure prominently in the plot. Eddie Korbich’s Seppings enters into the fray helping Jeeves play a multitude of characters from Bertie’s anxious Aunt Dahlia who desperately wants Bertie to secure the cow-creamer for her husband Tom for his collection, to Bertie’s good friend Gussie who wants Bertie to be his Cyrano and woo Madeline to be his bride, to Spode, the ultra tall and imposing Spode who is hiding a delicious secret, plus a spot of blackmail and a pair of fathers who refuse to give permission for their daughters to marry.

As engagements are broken, and a barking dog threatens to bite, Jeeves finds himself the critical factor in avoiding tragedy and chaos and saving his aristocratic master from total disaster. Wodehouse’s clever English wit keeps the lively and slapstick humor sparkling as this trio of talented actors scurry to win the day. Wodehouse’s characters inspire laughter in a bizarre and vaudevillian and charming turn of phrase and inventive sense of action. Sean Foley keeps the tale spinning in high gear, on a clever revolving set by Alice Power.

For tickets ($25 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Travel with Bertie and Jeeves and a host of their friends and at least one enemy to Totleigh Towers for a rousing adventure where laughter is definitely on the agenda.

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