“One Man, Two Guvnors” Produced by Sound Theatre Company

There’s no hyperbole in the label “the funniest show on the planet” that’s been affixed to Richard Bean’s English comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors.” Never have I heard any play generate such sustained laughter as this one does.

It’s very loosely based on the 18th C. Goldini play “Servant for Two Masters,” yet there isn’t a genre of humor that’s not cleverly woven into this script. Of course there’s a whiff of commedia del arte. but there’s also a touch of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, farce, slapstick, pantomime and more. But there’s so much more than funny lines. You’ll find wry physical humor and clever gymnastics woven in to match the verbal laugh lines.

It’s an example of just how good the Sound Theatre Company is that it can pull this off. This is not an easy play to produce, especially in a space as small as the Center Theatre. The acting has to be superb. Many of the actors have to be gymnasts as well as thespians. Timing has to be perfect. With twelve actors cavorting around the stage in a play where physical humor is a strong component, there’s no room for sloppiness. Director Ken Michels has honed his cast to a finely polished ensemble.

The play originated in England and it needs the English accents. The cast does them well, but for American ears some of the language can be confusing. That’s the only negative issue with this wonderful production

David Roby. Photo by Ken Holmes

David Roby. Photo by Ken Holmes

I won’t even try to summarize the plot with all its complications. Of course there’s a thwarted love angle, and there’s a touch of criminality. There is music, very good music with some unexpected instruments to accompany Elijah Pasco’s piano and Jon Brenner’s bass and guitar. There are songs, especially noteworthy are those by Daniel Stoltenberg (who also play guitar) and Madison Jade Jones.

Just know that almost every aspect of this production is funny. The cast, led by David Roby, is universally good. Roby, himself, is phenomenal as he tries to serve his two Guvnors. If you love to laugh, this is for you.

Through August 27, at the Center Theatre in the Armory, at Seattle Center, (BrownPaperTickets.com).

On August 20 at 2:00 pm, the theatre is offered an autistic friendly performance. If you or a member of your family would enjoy this “Sensory Friendly” performance use the code SOUNDFRIEND at BrownPaperTickets.com

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