Take a step back in time to Oxford, 1892, and you just might find a tale that will leave you laughing for days to come. The most recent production coming out of the Huntington University Theatre Company will take you on a journey to 19th century England, complete will all the formality and good-natured humor of the era.
This play, written by Brandon Thomas, follows the story of two perplexed undergrads, Jack and Charley, desperately hoping to find a way to propose to their girlfriends but in need of a chaperone. The solution— Charley’s aunt from Brazil whom he has never met. Due to complications, however, she is unavailable. Enter Lord Fancourt Babberly (senior Stephen Planalp), who is willing to impersonate the elusive aunt. Will the young men attain success and prevent their mischievous plan from being found out?
The show, directed by Jay Duffer, associate professor of Theater Arts, contains clever word play and slapstick comedy typical of British humor with themes of mistaken identity running throughout. It has benefitted from a guest scenic designer who has brought a new, functional perspective to the set pieces.
Duffer commented on the timeless comedy exhibited in “Charley’s Aunt.”
“The show has achieved wild success. It’s 122 years old and still going strong,” Duffer said. “I think it’s hilarious and students should come.”
Planalp, who plays the leading character in the play, concurred with Duffer.
“This is a really unique show in my experience at Huntington. It has given me a great opportunity to play off the other actors and react to each other’s humor,” he said. “There’s rolling in the aisles comedy.”
Planalp also commented on the talents and abilities of the other students involved in the production.
“The whole cast is such a vibrant group of actors and characters that bring life to the show,” he said.
One you surely won’t want to miss, “Charley’s Aunt” runs in Zurcher Auditorium in the Merillat Centre for the Arts Apr. 3-5 and 10-12 with show times at 7:30 each evening. There will also be 2:00 matinees for both Saturday performances.