Friday August 18th 2017

“Accomplice”

Accomplice7Sometimes , when we least expect it, we go to a theatrical production that is not what we thought it would be. Many of the productions found on the stage at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights are such little treasure. Plays we have never heard of, written by playwrights we have never heard of ( and may never hear of again), but just a fun two hours of theater. Currently , they are presenting a play written by Rupert Holmes ( this may be one of those names that fits the above description) called “Accomplice” which is billed as a “edge of your seat murder mystery filled with laughs”- while it is not quite that , it is a fun filled two hours, a distraction from the stress of everyday life and does present us with some mystery.

Because of the nature of the story, I must be careful as to what I can say about the plot as I would not want to ruin your adventure at The Metropolis/ “Accomplice” is a sort of British Farce that appears to be one thing, then another and then turns out to be something completely different. Sound confusing? That is the point of what Holmes is trying to convey.Things are not always what they seem to be.

Our story begins in a remote, but well furnished “cabin” on a British autumn afternoon.Janet and John  are having a meeting/tryst to discuss and plan the killing of her husband Derek. They will make sure that the phone doesn’t work,  so that Derek will not be able to call for help, but wait? Is it possible that Derek fears they are lovers? A tape machine is found by Janet indicating that Derek may just be on to them. From there we have many twists and turns relative to Derek and John ( business partners), Janet and Melinda ( John’s wife) and the plots and sub-plots keep expanding. At the end of the first act, it appears that Derek has been done in, and that the relationships between John and Janet and Janet and Melinda are not what we thought they were.

The second act brings us more surprises as things that we thought were the play, may not be the play at all. Maybe, what we say is not what we thought we saw and perhaps, it is the real life actors who are in the production are the ones who are plotting to do each other in. The only way one can know for sure is to watch this play in its entirety and pay close attention, as once the second act takes a turn, it moves with rapid speed. The characters we have become comfortable turn out to be different and the laughs grow stronger. Director Robin M. Hughes, who has become the almost regular director of their series program uses not only the set ( (cleverly designed by Katie Alvord) to its best usage and Mickey York’s props ( a large amount of in this production) are always in the right place at the right time. Of course, since this is a British farce, the actors use dialect for most of the play ( Sammi Grant worked with them in order to make it as clear as possible). I often wonder why these plays have to be staged as British farces, why not have it be in America, allowing for no accents in particular? It might be better for the audience ( and the actors) not to have to think so much about their intonation and accent. Oh, well! I guess that is up to the director and producers.Accomplice4

The cast of four ( or is it four?) is comprised on Dylan Marks,Kelly Lynn Hogan,Jonathan Nichols and Julie Schroll. They all have solid comic timing and have developed strong characters. Again, due to an oath we gave the producer as we left the theater, I cannot tell you much more about their roles as I , as an audience member might be considered an Accomplice”. I will tell you that they do present a sparkling production.

The Metropolis has a nice comfortable theater located in downtown Arlington Heights and over the years has grown in popularity with the local audiences as they have increased the quality of their productions. “Accomplice” will continue through April 21st with performances as follows:

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

Fridays  8 p.m.

Saturdays 7 p.m. ( I think they have another show that follows, but no matter, there are some great dining spots in the area, so see a show, then grab a late dinner)

Sundays  3 p.m.

Tickets range from $40-$44 and can be purchased at the box office or by calling 847-577-2121 or of course online at www.MetropolisArts.com

The theater is located at 111 West Campbell Street ( a few blocks west of Arlington Hts Road) in downtown Arlington Heights with plenty of free parking.

To see what others say, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to review roundup and click on “Accomplice”

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