PITTSFIELD, MASS. >> The short review for the comedy “Taking Steps,” playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfied, Mass through August 5, is: Go see it – it’s funny.
If you need to know why, it’s because the acting is fantastic, Sam Buntrock’s direction is inventive and Alan Ayckbourn’s writing is smart, funny and the play is brilliantly constructed.
In today’s world any play that makes you smile is called a comedy. “Taking Steps” makes you laugh – hard and often. It’s filled with visual comedy that is broad and silly, but short of slapstick. The humor comes not only from the visual and physical comedy – the language is a joy.
Every convoluted event happens for a reason and though none of the characters can be considered bright, neither do they operate from stupidity. Everyone wants something they can’t have – and often they don’t even know what they want.
It’s classic farce in which the audience is always a step ahead of the characters. We know what they don’t know, and we do know nothing is going to work out well for them.
The characters involve a beautiful woman who feels she has to divorce her husband of three and a half months. The husband is a wealthy manufacturer who is preparing to buy a rundown Victorian home for the status he feels the ownership will give him. The woman’s brother is so boring he puts people to sleep when he talks to them. His fiancée has once left him at the altar and is likely to do it again. Add a lawyer who can hardly utter a coherent sentence. There is also a dull-witted and…
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