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Schultz comedy aims to please with goofball antics

By Josette Keelor -- jkeelor@nvdaily.com

In The Schultz Theatre's upcoming play "I Take This Man," one crazy spontaneous decision launches a string of increasingly comedic results.

But crazy spontaneous decisions are like that -- especially the ones that involve lying to the police about an unconscious stranger's marriage to a woman desperate for companionship.

Gideon Hollis, played by Britney Mongold, finds a man lying in the street in his underwear after the Boston Marathon and convinces an agreeable police officer to carry the man to her home where she pretends he's her husband. It's the stuff of comedic gold.

It's not that Gideon is the crazy person her actions suggest, and she doesn't choose Brett Fleming simply out of opportunity. When she sees him wearing a tank top and shorts, she guesses that he must have passed out after completing the marathon, and his good looks add to her instant belief that he's someone worth having.

When he awakens on her sofa, the man, played by Corey Clanahan, assumes he's been kidnapped, said director Trish Diachenko. Lucky for Gideon, he doesn't remember who he is.

"The situation just escalates," Diachenko said.

Gideon's roommate and her fiance, played by Elyshia Terry and Sevy Domangue, are the voices of reason, trying to convince "Giddy" to end her charade. Then when it turns out that Brett isn't a marathon runner, everyone wonders how he ended up unconscious in the street minus more appropriate clothing.

It's a screwball comedy, said Diachenko, a theater, English and creative writing teacher at Stonewall Jackson High School in Mt. Jackson. This will be her first time directing at Schultz, but she's no stranger to comedies, having performed in other of the theater's shows as "the perfect woman" in "The Love List" last year and in "The Odd Couple."

Tyler Everett Adams, as the police man, Mongold and Terry are regulars at Schultz.

Clanahan, a former student of Diachenko's, and Domangue are new to the Schultz stage.

"I Take This Man," by Jack Sharkey, will run at The Schultz Theatre, at 9357 N. Congress St. in New Market, June 15 through 17 and 22 through 24. For tickets or more information, call 740-9119.

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