Desert Foothills Theater brings the Arizona debut of Unnecessary Farce to Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center’s Black Box Theater. The 10-show run begins Thursday and runs through Feb. 7. The show stars Carefree resident Roy Hunt, who plays the role of Agent Frank. Hunt is in charge of security for Town Hall and its employees.
Unnecessary Farce makes Arizona debut
in North Valley
Marc Buckhout ~ Managing Editor ~ 01/20/2010
The show is called Unnecessary Farce, but if you talk to Carefree resident Roy Hunt, who plays the role of Agent Frank, in the play’s Arizona premiere this weekend you come to believe that if it isn’t necessary it’s at least a real good idea to check out the production.
“It looks like mayhem at times, or maybe that we’re doing ad-lib, but it’s all scripted. People will go and be entertained,” he said. “It’s irresistible.”
An experienced actor who has performed Lend Me a Tenor on three occasions, what he calls the best farce ever written, Hunt says Unnecessary Farce will keep the audience laughing from start to finish.
“We took a week off for Christmas, but we’ve been rehearsing since early December and after you’ve seen something done 15 to 20 times you typically are not going to be amused, but we’ve got such good actors that I’m still finding myself laughing as we’re rehearsing.”
Beginning with a 7:30 p.m. Thursday Preview Night show the run, put on by Desert Foothills Theater, will include 10 performances through the Feb. 7 finale. Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center’s Black Box Theater, at 33606 N. 60th St. in Scottsdale, will serve as the venue.
Directed by Petey Swartz, Unnecessary Farce takes place in two adjoining cheap motel rooms where an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there's some confusion as to who's in which room, who's being videotaped, who's taken the money, who's hired a hit man, what the heck is that Scotsman saying, and why the accountant keep taking off her clothes?
“I am a great fan of farce, and I think this is one of the best of that genre. It is not subtle, and it involves a lot of physical comedy, as opposed to other comedies I've directed before,” Swartz said. “I am especially thrilled that this show has never before been performed in Arizona and our audiences will be treated to something brand new.”
Hunt explains that the fast-paced action and dialogue keeps the actors as well as the audience on their toes.
“In my humble opinion farce is the most difficult to prepare for as an actor,” he said. “The dialogue is very fast paced and it requires an impeccable sense of timing. It’s rapid fire so you have to be sharp. It’s a really silly story with a lot of good physical humor, sexual innuendo, some real good lines.”
Hunt plays the role of a security guard in charge of Town Hall security. He heads to the hotel looking for the mayor, who is meeting with an accountant.
“He takes his job seriously, but he’s in the wrong business,” Hunt explains of his character. “The problem is he’s exceedingly stupid and he doesn’t possess any courage, the main ingredient required to do his job.”
The mayor, bumbling police officers, a Scottish assassin as well as the accountant all are involved in the mayhem.
“With the physical comedy, the witty word play, your mind is going a mile a minute,” Hunt said. “With the concurrent scenes at times the audience is going to have their attention divided. It will be a little like a tennis match in that regard.”
Having starred in the Last of the Red Hot Lovers a year ago Hunt said he is excited to be performing at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center’s Black Box Theater.
“You could do it in a bigger venue, but this show is better in an
intimate setting,” Hunt said. “That way people can see everything
that is going on. There are some great facial expressions and a lot
of props they probably would miss if it was on a bigger scale.”
The play runs Thursday through Feb. 7 at the Scottsdale venue located at 33606 N. 60th Street. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. for the Thursday Preview Night show; 7:30 p.m. for the Fridays and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets cost $20 per adult and $12 per student, with the Preview Night tickets costing $18 for adults and $10 for students.
To order tickets, visit www.desertfoothillstheater.com or call 480-488-1981.