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Potomac Playmakers are 'Fools' for a good Neil Simon fable

Potomac Playmakers are 'Fools' for a good Neil Simon fable

The Potomac Playmakers are ending the 2018-2019 season with laughs for all with performances of Neil Simon’s comedy “Fools.”

One of Simon’s “fabled fairy tales,” it has “situational humor and is fairy-tale funny,” said female lead Devin Taylor of Hagerstown.

The play is set in the small village of Kulyenchikov, Ukraine, during the late 19th century. The story follows Leon Steponovich Tolchinsky, a teacher who takes a new job educating Sophia, the daughter of Dr. Zubritsky and his wife, Lenya.

The town has been cursed with chronic stupidity for 200 years and Leon is tasked with breaking the curse.

Taylor plays Sophia and said there are townspeople and peasants with a romantic comedy that threads through the story.

“There truly is something for everyone. It’s a really funny story about a town under a curse,” Taylor said.

She said children will love it and adults will appreciate the sophisticated humor. And on top of that, there’s the moral of whether love can break the curse.

Nic Sigman is the director, his second production in that role for Potomac Playmakers. Assistant director is Andrew King.

Sigman has been involved with the group since 2014 and thought only about being on stage as an actor until recently.

After a behind-the-scenes experience, Sigman said he’s “become sort of addicted to directing.”

His experience acting helps his directing and directing helps his acting, he said. Sigman will also be directing the first show of next season, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Sigman said “Fools” is “hysterical.”

“The cast is some of the most talented comedians I’ve worked with. Everyone is a perfect fit. They have great chemistry,” Sigman said.

He said he feels “spoiled” by how good the cast is.

“I don’t have to do much,” Sigman said.

He hopes that everyone gets to experience the joy he gets during rehearsals watching the performance.

“Fools” will be performed April 26, 27 and May 3 — 5 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Funkstown. The April 27 performance will be a dinner theater with dinner served prior to the show.

This season, as Potomac Playmakers await the completion of their permanent space in about early 2020, they have been performing different shows in different places.

“It proves you can take theater anywhere. It challenges the actors and is exciting for new audiences,” Taylor said.

She said that over the past year, crowds for their performances have grown.

“I think it’s only going to get bigger and better,” Sigman said.

Top photo: Sam Specht, left, and Al Gardner rehearse for the upcoming Potomac Playmakers performances of Neil Simon’s comic fable “Fools.” (Photo courtesy of J. Bryant Photography)

If you go ...

WHAT: The Potomac Playmakers performances of Neil Simon's comedy "Fools!"
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, April 26, Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4; 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5; Special dinner theatre performance Saturday, April 27 with doors opening at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and showtime at 7 p.m. 
WHERE: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 24 E. Baltimore St., Funkstown
COST: Tickets are $15 (except for the dinner theatre) and are available at the door or online at www.potomacplaymakers.org. Dinner theatre tickets are $25 and are available by calling Charlotte Miller at 301-733-2678 or ordering online at www.potomacplaymakers.org.
CAST: The cast includes Colleen Cheney, Amaya Dull, Al Gardner, Anna Lynch, Adam Martens, Lexi Oliver, Kevin Richardson, Andrew Shifler, Sam Specht, and Devin Taylor. Nic Sigman is director and Andrew King is assistant director. 

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