By the end of Center on the Square’s “See How They Run,” my abs were tight from laughing. The two-and-a-half-hour comedy is full of quirky characters and ridiculous personalities in the midst of improbable situations, making for a hilarious production. The story is set in 1940s England in a vicar’s living room, where multiple visitors (including an escaped Russian prisoner) wreak temporary havoc and chaos in the lives of the vicar and his wife.
All of Center on the Square’s performances of “See How They Run” begin with food prior to the show. Since I attended on a Friday night, I got an entire buffet dinner including herb-roasted chicken, carrot souffle and endless bread rolls. The wait staff was extremely attentive and the food, delicious. My personal favorite was the carrot souffle, which tasted more like a sugary dessert than a carrot. Meals vary from performance to performance, and some only offer dessert depending on the show time.
Before the start of the performance, the director, Ann Nieto, introduced the show and made everyone feel at home by asking about birthdays and anniversaries being celebrated at the performance. Her bubbly personality and excitement immediately drew me into the show before it had even begun.
I was skeptical of attending a performance at Center on the Square because it is a community theater, so I wasn’t sure how high the quality would be. However, one of the best aspects of this production was the acting. The actors seemed cut out for their roles – not only did they look their parts, they played them excellently. From Ida, the little British maid, to the escaped Russian prisoner, the actors were completely immersed in their roles. The characters definitely contributed a lot to making this play a successful comedy. They also worked very well together. The chemistry between the actors was fluid and not at all awkward. They seemed like they were friends in real life – not just faking it for the stage.
I also appreciated the intimate space that is used for the show. I was seated at a table in the front row, but there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Overall, I really enjoyed this production. Comedy is the way to my heart, so if I can spend a couple of hours laughing, it’s a good evening. The cast did an exquisite job of keeping the audience entertained, and I would definitely attend another production at Center on the Square.
The show runs until April 6. For more information, visit www.centeronthesquare.org.