“SCRAMBLE” FOR FUN, FARCE AND PROFIT

BONNIE GOLDBERG

You might not love your job, but if you found out it was in jeopardy you might go to outlandish lengths to keep it.  Human nature being what it is, we all resist change, especially if it’s the cataclysmic kind that threatens our ability to survive on more than foccacio bread and Perrier water.

Job security or lack thereof is the comic premise of “Scramble!,” a new and funny farce by David Wiltse, playwright-in-residence at Westport Country Playhouse.  You’ll need your running shoes to keep up with the fast-paced patter until Saturday, July 26.

The offices of a golf magazine that struggles to meet its monthly publication deadlines in a mediocre and lackadaisical fashion is suddenly energized by the rumor that their future is on the line, the chopping block line.  A new hire Ben Johnson (Tom Beckett) is thought to be the hatchet man who will determine the fate of the faithful and not so faithful on staff.

Forget or at least overlook the fact that Ben is a nebbish, a needy milquetoast who is shy and reticent.  Soon glamour girl Temple (Jennifer Smudge),  procrastinating Carter (Matthew Rauch), the grand pooh-bah Sam (Candy Buckley), the vague overseer Otis (Colin McPhillamy) and even the tongue-tied Jane (Rebecca Harris) are pulling out all the stops to woo Ben and prove that the magazine is one big happy and indispensable family.

The talented cast is spot-on great as they stoop to any machination and ploy to ensure their employment.  Tracy Brigden directs this comic romp through corporate doors and under desks as the staff “scrambles” to keep the jobs they now covet, even if it means coveting thy neighbor in the process.

For tickets ($30-65), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. ; Performances are Tuesday - Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Wednesday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Watch how quickly rumors translate into frantic actions as anxious employees escalate their enterprising efforts to ensure they are still employed at the end of the day.

This review appeared in the Middletown Press on July 24.

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