MOUNT DESERT — Ever since the ancient Greeks first donned the masks of tragedy and comedy, farce has been a staple of comedic theater.
It has always involved ridiculous plots, mistaken identities and unbelievably clueless characters.
In most modern farces, it also involves doors — the more doors the funnier the farce.
Well, Acadia Repertory Theatre in Somesville employs four doors for its very funny romantic farce “Perfect Wedding,” through which all manner of clueless characters enter and exit, hide behind, slam, fling and open as they stumble through a set of impossibly muddled events.
The premise here is that groom-to-be Bill wakes up, after a drunken stag party, the morning of his wedding day, in the bedroom of the bridal suite of a hotel, with a strange, naked woman beside him, and his bride-to-be about to arrive. Things couldn’t get much worse, until Bill discovers the naked lady is his best man Tom’s new girlfriend Judy, and worse still that he is rather smitten by her.
Through the suite divider door comes Tom, behind the bathroom door goes Judy, here comes the bride Rachel into the sitting room, a door through which her bouncy mom will eventually enter the fray. And oh yes, there’s the chambermaid Julie, who upon unlocking the suite’s outer door, to clean the room, gets embroiled in this mess.
Well it is exhausting just watching these young actors go through the frantic paces, director Cheryl Willis puts them through, and absolutely hilarious. Equally as important as fast action in these farces is fast-paced dialogue and really you couldn’t slip a dime between the repartee that goes on here. And while each of the characters is equally clueless, they are clueless in their own way.
As the hapless groom Bill, Sam Fidler spends his time in wonderfully horrified reaction to events and Desmond Reifsnyder with his plummy British drawl brings to mind a particularly bewildered and eventually murderous Bertie Wooster.
As the snorting, control freak bride Rachel, Olivia Michael is a scream, sometimes literally, as she tries to make sense of circumstances way beyond her control; Mary Paola as Julie is a hoot and then some with her firmly held misassumptions; Beatrice Beutel as Judy, despite the bad timing of her affair, really appears to be the only one to have a modicum of common sense — sort of an eye in the storm that is swirling about her.
As Rachel, Daphne’s mom, Julie Anne Nevill, literally adds some extra bounce.
Great set by W. Preston Kenicki, really sturdy doors! And costumes by Jaylene Roths.
“Perfect Wedding” runs through Sunday, Aug. 11, with shows every night, except Mondays, at 8:15 p.m. A final matinee will be staged at 2 p.m. on Aug. 11. To reserve seats, call 244-7260 or visit acadiarep.com.