Reviewed by Clyde Morrison
Whose Wives is a farce about two executives of a cosmetic company who plan to spend a weekend at a golf resort while their wives shop. Their company has been sold, and they want a last hurrah before the new CEO arrives. At the golf resort, before they can start the golfing, the CEO arrives and wants to meet their wives, stating that she would not have executives who went golfing without their wives. So the two executives played by Doug Pusateri and John Edmonds have to come up with two wives on the spur of the moment.
Usually in these reviews I try to recognize actors who are especially good. In this play it is impossible to select. All the performers were spot on which made the play an outstanding show with continual side-splitting laughter throughout. The executive golfers, David and John Baker were played by Doug Pusateri of the extremely expressive face and John Edmonds who quickly got in and out of a red dress and wig, jumped over beds, fell into beds with different characters, all showing an athletic ability. These two were masters of comic timing and kept the hilarity up. We have seen Doug in other Pinewood shows, but this was the first one for John. What a pair of livewires.
Another new performer was Georgia Osborne as the hotel manager who tried to keep sanity and decorum in her hotel. Although she tried to remain firm in a resolve to contain the sexual activity, she was always getting shoved into bed with someone. While this was Georgia’s first acting appearance on the main stage, it will definitely not be her last. She was able to keep that serious tone, no matter what was taking place around her.
Another novice to the main stage was Frank Hess who played the hypochondriac, Wilson. While Hess has been involved with the Pinewood Players for many years directing shows, creating set designs and backstage jobs, he has seldom been on the stage. As Wilson the “gofer” handyman, Frank was so hilarious that all he had to do was open his mouth and the audience was in hysterics. He had an ailment for every job the manager had for him, and his timing in observing and reacting to the sexual activities of the guests was right on.
Judy Christiansen has been in many of the Pinewood Player’s comedies and she was at her best as the confused girl who was willing to play John Baker’s fake wife for a carload of cosmetics. And, her drunk scene in Baker’s room was a classic.
Susan Liberty, the new CEO of the cosmetic company, D.L Hutchinson, was very believable in her attempt at keeping family important with her executives. Every comedy needs a fall guy or a butt of the zany activities. Susan played this very serious executive until the surprise ending when her husband called her on the phone.
In this play, even the minor characters were excellent. Phyllis Schurz as Kathy, Doug Pusateri’s wife, was very believable as she wanted to get even with her husband who she thought was playing around with another women. Her planning was a little off-center as she didn’t realize that D.L. Hutchinson was a woman, and that the man she got for Laura, John Edmond’s wife, was the odd ball hypochondriac Wilson. Laura Elam, Laura, was her typically fine performer as a talented sobbing, babbling wife who couldn’t understand her husband messing with another woman.
The construction crew again measured up to the task of creating a difficult stage with two levels (for the hotel’s main lobby on one level and the hotel rooms on another.) In addition there were seven doors on the set. This crew must use magic to come up with such a believable set. Once again the crew was led by Dave Westmark and Stewart Lanier and included Al Bagley, Ken Carter, Jim Schurz, Frank Uveges, Zach Romero, Stan Alf, Melanie Westmark, and Harold Winters. I heard they were putting in a forty hour week, but it looks like they put in more than that. Wow, what a crew!
Pinewood Players is getting more and more technically proficient with the sound and lighting. While the audience doesn’t always recognize what is going on, we know that it is all fitting together. In this performance Roger Saulnier handled the sound and Stewart Lanier and Les Maurseth handled the lights. Outstanding work, men. All put together, this was one of the finest performances I have seen on our stage. Now get your season tickets for next year. These shows are all selling out and are a lot of fun. I can’t wait for the shows of 2016.