Players bring comedy ‘Anybody Out There?’ to stage

From left, Ric Davenport (Herbie), Nick Burton (Oliver), Lindsay Tallian (Millie) and Christian Sowers (Thief) perform a scene from “Anybody Out There?” — Courtesy photo

BY WHITNEY CODLING

John Patrick’s farcical comedy “Anybody Out There?” relies on fast-paced delivery of witty one-liners to draw the audience into the uproarious transformation of a shy little milksop into a fearless hero after he has been told (erroneously) that he has only six months to live.

The Flat River Community Players hit the mark with this energetic and engaging comedy. Performances at the Greenville Area Community Center are 7:30 p.m. Jan 18 and 19; 2 p.m. Jan 20 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26.

Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults. New this season, tickets can be purchased online at flatriver.shoclix.com/ or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS. Tickets can also be purchased from the FRCP Facebook page. And, as always, tickets will be available at the door on the night of the show.

From left, Kim Jenkins and Nick Burton perform a scene from “Anybody Out There?”

Oliver Pankey, played by Nick Burton, is a born loser. You can’t help but feel sorry for him as the bad luck piles up, threatening to overwhelm him. Burton’s portrayal of this down-trodden pushover is both genuine and entertaining, but his interpretation of the character’s temperament lacks a visible and consistent change from timid mouse and bold lion.

Theater veterans Lindsay Tallian (Millie Milhaus) and Ric Davenport (Herbie Henderson) always impress, no matter what roles they take on. They bring out the best (and the worst) in their characters and play off one another flawlessly.

Christian Sowers (Thief) and Galen Jennings (Bill McSwain) highly animated characters bring a whole new comedic twist to their scenes. Whether hamming for the security cameras or testing out a less than tasty Navajo aphrodisiac, they always steal the scene.

The fairly simple sets do a remarkable job of moving the story along seamlessly. Skillfully designed by Brad Wagbo, the folding wall and rolling counters make great use of the space available, and allow for easy flow between Oliver’s apartment, the bank and the doctor’s office.

As the action spins zanily on, deftly finding its way to a happy and hilarious conclusion, “Anybody Out There?” proves to be an enjoyable experience and one you do not want to miss.

Whitney Codling reviews plays for The Flat River Community Players.

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