Can a man serve two masters? Maybe not, but that doesn’t stop some from trying. In Georgia Shakespeare’s production of the hit Broadway comedy One Man, Two Guv’nors, Francis Henshall (Aaron Muñoz) tries to do just that. And, it all falls apart in one of the most hilarious plays to be staged in Atlanta this season.
It is the groovy 1960s in Brighton, England, and Francis, desperate to have money so that he can eat, accepts a job working for two different people. One is a London gangster named Roscoe, and another is a suspected criminal on the run named Stanley Stubbers (Joe Knezevich). He attempts to serve both without either one knowing he is working for the other.
Things get a bit complicated though. Roscoe is supposed to be dead, but he interrupts the engagement party of Pauline (Molly Coyne) and Alan (Justin Walker), revealing that he is rightfully engaged to Pauline. Only Roscoe isn’t all he seems to be. His twin sister Rachel (Ann Marie Gideon) has donned his identity to get money to go to Australia with her boyfriend who is accused of murdering Roscoe.
The farce, written by Richard Bean, takes the audience on a uproarious journey as the situation unfolds with Francis trying to keep his double employment a secret. Directed by Drew Fracher, the cast creates memorable and funny characters through slap-stick moments, well-delivered witty lines and audience participation.
Nothing short of amazing, Muñoz gives his all in the role. He is a ball of energy that takes the audience into his hands and doesn’t let them go. From physical comedy to impeccable comedic timing with his dialogue, he has the audience in stiches for much of the time he is on stage.
Knezevich’s clumsy Stanley is humorous and likeable. Not outshined by Muñoz, he makes acting the part look easy. Gideon, on the other hand, easily gets lost in the chaos onstage. Not that she doesn’t deliver, it is more that she doesn’t command attention the way the other two leads do.
As Francis’ love interest, Courtney Patterson makes Dolly seem like a much larger role than it is. Funny and adorable, she makes you wish that her character had more stage time. Likewise, the dubious “Armitage Shanks,” who will be familiar to many regular patrons, creates many laughs and leaves you wanting more as the waiter Alfie.
One of the most fun evenings you could ever expect at the theater, One Man, Two Guv’nors plays at Georgia Shakespeare through July 27, 2014. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website. The show’s runtime is around two and a half hours with an intermission.
– Kenny Norton