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She Says: Three Wise Guys a TACT Fond Farewell

She Says: Three Wise Guys a TACT Fond Farewell
Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler, Ron McClary, Jeffrey C. Hawkins

Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler, Ron McClary, Jeffrey C. Hawkins Photos by Marielle Solan

The World Premiere of Three Wise Guys, a new comedy by Scott Alan Evans and Jeffrey Couchman, based on Damon Runyon’s short stories, “Dancing Dan’s Christmas” and “The Three Wise Guys” opened last night at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row. This homage to times gone by, is sweet, charming and utterly enjoyable. It is sad to realize that this is TACT’s last show, after 25 years of bringing plays from the past to light, Three Wise Guys showcases’s what TACT did best. For this show the design team of Dan Scully’s exquisite projections, Andrew Gaukel’s inventive puppetry, Jason Ardizzone-West’s clothes line set, with push out windows, David Toser’s period costumes, M.L. Geiger’s intricate lighting, Bart Fasbender’s sound, and original music by Joseph Trapanese, are so well done that they deserve the first shout out.

Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler

Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler Photos by Marielle Solan

Like the old screwball comedy’s of the 20’s, there are many who will not see this piece as viable, but my guest thanked me afterwards for bring her to something so enjoyable. There is a place for theatre that reminds us of the simplicity of the past. We have been transported back in time to Christmas Eve 1932: Three New York wise guys, are intrenched in their own problems and not especially fond of the season, especially “Blondy’ Swanson” (Karl Kenzler), who misses the doll who got away. They find themselves in Good Time Charley’s speakeasy, where “Dancing’ Dan” ( Jeffrey C. Hawkings) puts on ‘The Dutchman’s” ( Joel Jones) Santa Suit, which turns out to be fate stepping in. As the bootleg liquor flows, the guys agree to band together and take to the road to avoid the the people who would rather see them dead than alive especially a notorious racketeer, Heine Schmitz (John Plumpis).

Ron McClary, Dana Smith-Croll, John Plumpis, Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler

Ron McClary, Dana Smith-Croll, John Plumpis, Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler Photos by Marielle Solan

They are detoured to a mansion on Long Island by Myrton (Ron McClary), where Muriel is dancing (Victoria Mack), Bitsy (Dana Smith-Croll) is hosting and Heine shows up.

Victoria Mack, John Plumpis

Victoria Mack, John Plumpis Photos by Marielle Solan

They follow a shining star to where the loot has been hidden in a barn, but fate steps in again and the three wise men end up doing the right thing. Miracles after all happen underneath our noses.

Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Karl Kenzler, Joel Jones

Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Karl Kenzler, Joel Jones Photos by Marielle Solan

The cast talks like Guys and Dolls or as my friend David says… Runyonesq. They are all deliciously wonderful, as they take on multiple roles.

Scott Alan Evans directs this piece with whimsy and delight.

 

it was nice to visit Three Wise Guys and that era that has long passed. TACT you will be missed, as much as the simplicity of what once was.

 

Three Wise Guys: TACT at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd St. until April 14th.

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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