"ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS"
PALO ALTO, CA -- RICHARD BEAN's slapstick comedy ONE MAN Two Guvnors, with music by RICHARD BEAN and songs by GRANT OLDING, ended the Palo Alto Players 2018-2019 Season with laughter.
The story of the musical is based on CARLO GOLDONI's farce, Il Servitore di due Padroni, (The servant of two Masters) which premiere in Italy in l746 and was revised in l753. The idea for Goldoni's commedia's name, came from the Spanish refrain, "Quien a dos Amos Sirve, a uno sirve y a otro engaña." which may be translated as he who tries to serve two people, serves one and fools the other," which was popular at the time, and may have given playwright GOLDONI ideas for a play with many characters and funny situations.
When writing his musical comedy, RICHARD BEAN transposed the action from Italy to England, changed the names of the characters, and re-wrote the story as a farce, with musical interludes, under the name of "ONE MAN, two guvnors." He kept most of the original characters, from La Commedia dell' arte, and used some of their slapstick vulgarity, and their silly antics (exaggerated movements) The result is that the nitwitted plot of criminals, police, impersonations, mistaken personalities, exaggerated motions and double-meaning dialogue, keeps the audience laughing.
ONE MAN, two guvnors has many characters. The principal one is Francis, (DOUGH SANTANA, pictured below) a scheming man, who gets "accidentally" employed by two masters.
One of his "masters" is Rosco (KATIE O'BRYON CHAMPLIN) one in a set of twins, who cannot be called "identical" because his twin is Rachel (CHAMPLIN) a girl. Without his knowledge, however, Francis is actually working for Rachel, who is dressed as a man, because she is impersonating Rosco her twin brother. Francis' second "master" is Stanley Stubbers, (BRAD SATTERWHITE) that Francis works for using the name Henshall. Stubbers is an upper class criminal, and Rachel's lover.
Other characters are Charlie Clench, "The Duck" ( RAY D'AMBROSIO) a retired gangster, in his fifties who still can take care of himself but depends on his lawyer Harry Dangle (TROY JOHNSON) a crooked solicitor, dapper, and faintly sleazy.
Pauline (MICHELLE SKINNER) a young woman in her twenties, is Charlie's daughter. In a "deal with Rosco" many years ago, Charlie, her father, to avoid paying a debt, arranged her engagement with Rosco. Yet to complicate matters, the play opens, in Charlie's mansion with a group is celebrating the engagement of Pauline with Alan Dangle (DREW BANJAMIN JONES) Harry's son, who is highly emotional young man who wants to be an actor.
Also attending the engagement party is Dolly (BETSY KRUSE CRAIG) around thirty, who is Charlie's bookkeeper. She is a voluptuous, flirtatious single woman, who wiggles her hips and wishes that somebody could say to her something similar to what Alan said to Pauline, when dropping on the floor on one knee, before Pauline, held out his upturned closed, cupped hand towards her and told her in a loud dramatical tone: " Pauline, I give you my hand, Captive within my hand, is a bird. That bird is my heart." We should add that in just a few minutes, Dolly is going to have her chance to be admired when Francis/Henshall, arrives to the party.
Another guest is Lloyd Boateng (FRED PITTS) he is a Jamaican man. An ex-con turned Pub owner and the Pubs chef.
From the scene of the party, we move to Lloyd's restaurant where we meet Gareth, (BRYAN MORIARTY Pictured below on the left in the photograph), who as the head waiter at The Cricketers' Arms, overseas the operations with a flick of his wrist.
"ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS" will play at the Lucie Stern Theater , 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo alto until June 30th. For information or to order tickets call (650) 329-0891 or go online to http://paplayers.org/.