Sin, Sex and the C.I.A.

by DICK KEREKES
Orange Park Community Theatre opened 2009 with the North Florida premier of Sin, Sex and the C.I.A., which will run the month of January at their playhouse on Moody Road in Orange Park. Call 276-2599 for information and reservations.
Comedy is king at OPCT, so every season you will see at least two or three plays that produce laughter. Their current offering, Sin, Sex and the C.I.A. is another from the farce genre that OP audiences like so well.
The plot is loosely this; large oil reserves have been discovered in islands in the Indian Ocean, and the country wants to make a deal with the USA to develop them. A secret meeting is set up between the governments in a C.I.A. safehouse in the mountains of Virginia. Those Middle East oil folks, OPEC want that oil as well and plan to derail the meeting so they can obtain the rights to the oil. That folks is about as serious as it gets.
The very funny Fred Gatlin plays Mr. Warren, a retired US Marine who is caretaker of the safehouse and greets the C.I.A. operative, Luke James (Zdravko Rozic) who is handling the security for the meeting. The agent, as played by the handsome Mr. Rozic, is a klutz from the word go. Picture Inspector Clouseau from The Pink Panther minus a French accent and a moustache, and that is him.
The versatile Ellen Hare is the very attractive Margaret Johnson, the US government’s negotiator, who obviously likes to mix business with pleasure and she immediately makes blunt and overt sexual propositions to Mr. Warren. Does he succumb to this hot to trot hottie? See the show.
An unexpected guest arrives after his car breaks down in the area, and the very righteous Reverend Abernathy (Ray Chute) enters and seeks shelter for the night with his mousey and innocent secretary Millicent (Schuyler Velasco). The Reverend sees sin and sex everywhere and proceeds to preach about it while secretly constantly nipping at the bar brandy when no one is looking. The playwright of this farce is Michael Parker and Chute is a veteran of two of Parkers best plays that were done here several years ago. (The Amorous Ambassador & The Sensual Senator). Mr. Chute looks absolutely authentic and fabulous in his white and white suit from the l950s.
Rhodie Jackson is another visitor (yes, this place does stay busy), and is Heather, a neighbor living in a nearby cabin who is also seeking refuge since her home has no electric power due to a storm. Besides seemly getting physically involved with Reverend, she instructs the young Millicent on how to catch a man who has developed the hots for the young C.I.A. agent.
The final character to arrive is Karla Smith playing Ranger Don, sporting a wonderful Charlie Chaplin moustache. Who is this forest ranger who quietly comes and goes?
The first act has you asking such questions as who is the negotiator for the oil rights? Who are the OPEC spies here to foul the deal? All of this is resolved in the usual farce fashion but along the way we lots of double entendres, booby traps that malfunction, lots of doors opening and closing and people going from one bedroom to another. As with most sex farces of this type, no hanky panky ever happens. As racy as this sounds, you will hear no earthy language although you will groan a lot as some of the play on words is pretty silly. The Orange Park Theatre was filled with hearty laughter all evening long and that alone was worth the price of admission in these times.
Dmitry Tokarsky designed an absolutely perfect set that had a cabin-in-the mountains feel. He was assisted by Beverly Ann Crocco creating the set decorations. Director Susan Carcaba, who directed OPTC’s last season’s outstanding production of Come Blow Your Horn has taken a Michael Parker script that is not as good as some of his other efforts and made it into an amusing evening of entertainment with good casting and milking every line for every laugh. Mrs. Carcaba was assisted in her directing by Anna Zirbel. When you go to see this show, you will experience the theater’s the new computerized light system, thanks to The Tom Nehl Fund of The Community Foundation.

About FOLIO

april, 2022

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