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November 18, 2009 > Theatre Preview: Rowdy romp at Broadway West

Theatre Preview: Rowdy romp at Broadway West

By Julie Grabowski

The British storm the floorboards of Broadway West in Philip King's farce "See How They Run" playing through December 19. The story takes its title from the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice," and accordingly has the inhabitants and visitors of the Vicarage in Merton-cum-Middlewick dashing about in a comedy of errors.

Vicar Lionel Toop and his trouser-wearing former actress wife Penelope must deal with offended parishioner Miss Skillon while preparing for the arrival of Penelope's uncle, the Bishop of Lax, and visiting Vicar Mr. Humphrey the following day. The afternoon takes an unexpected turn when Penelope's actor friend turned soldier Clive drops by and she convinces him to borrow a suit from Lionel so he can attend the theatre incognito to see Noel Coward's "Private Lives," a show that the two had toured in together. Things begin to spiral out of control when Miss Skillon witnesses and misinterprets a recreated scene from the play, followed by the early arrival of the clergymen, and an escaped German prisoner. Chaos and confusion abound with mistaken identities, medicinal alcohol, collapsing bodies, a mystery assailant, a fire poker, pistol, leaping clergymen, and a very active closet.

The show kicks into true comedic gear in the second act after a bit of a dull start, and frolics gleefully through to its conclusion. The cast is outstanding and surefooted at every turn, weaving effortlessly together with tremendous energy and spirit. The most enjoyable performances come from Kim Saunders, Roselyn Hallett, Leslie Newport, and Tom Shamrell. Saunders is vibrant as convention-flouting Penelope, while Hallett is wonderfully adorable and funny as capable maid Ida. The high and mighty Miss Skillon come undone by shock and cooking sherry is hilarious in the hands of Newport, and Shamrell's soldier Clive is a delectable livewire.

Under the direction of Todd Wright "See How They Run" is sheer fun and entertainment, a successful cap to Broadway West's 13th season.

Tickets cost $22 for general admission and $17 for students, seniors and TBA members. Performances on Thursday November 19, December 3 and 10 are $15 for everyone, while December 17 is bargain Thursday with all tickets only $10. Opening night and Sunday matinees are $22 for all. Sunday shows on November 22 and December 6 will begin with a continental brunch at 12:15 p.m. with the performance following at 1 p.m. The December 13 show begins at 1 p.m. with English tea, scones and sandwiches served during intermission. For tickets or more information call (510) 683-9218 or visit

See How They Run
November 13-December 19 (no shows Thanksgiving weekend)
Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m.
Broadway West Theatre Company
4000-B Bay Street, Fremont
(510) 683-9218

Tickets: $10-$22

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