The Sam Bass Community Theatre has done it again. Their production of “It Could be Any One of Us” by
Alan Ayckbourn and directed by Frank Benge is a hilarious combination of quick wit, comedic timing, and
zippy one liners.
The real meat and potatoes of this small, 40 year old theatre has always been their Shakespeare
productions and their comedic murder mysteries. Over the years they’ve produced wonderful murder
mysteries such as, Murdered to Death, Black Coffee, Ten Little Indians, and many others with smashing
I have seen this small theatre transform itself dozens of times into a quaint English sitting room, library,
or tea room. Each time there are always distinct differences in the set, and yet again this sitting room
has its own individual feel. The pink walls, doilies for days, and vintage photographs make the set homey
and inviting the minute you walk into the theatre.
This ensemble cast of six actors had their work cut out for them in this show. Each night, the plot of
the show is determined by a card game played on stage during the first act of the show. The actors had
to learn four separate endings, never knowing when they arrive for the evening which ending will be
Mortimer Chalke, played by American Opera Singer William Parcher, is a crabby, egocentric old codger
and Parcher executes his role perfectly. Mortimer ends up the victim in this plot as the rest of the cast
comes under suspicion for his murder. Parcher is a composer bitter that his arias and concertos have
never been purchased. He roams the manor insulting each of his siblings and their pitiful attempts at
their own crafts. His accent was spot on, and often reminded me of Professor Higgins from, My Fair
Lady. Parcher was also required to “play” the piano on set. The director managed this with a perfectly
times sound cue executed without fail numerous times throughout the show.
Two other stand outs in this production were actors Lynn S. Beaver and Joseph Burg David playing
Jocelyn Chalke and Norris Honeywell respectively. Having practically grown up watching Ms. Beaver on
stage, I can vouch for her acting chops. The only other time I have been this impressed with her, was
as Judge Wargrave in Ten Little Indians. Her comedic timing, cleverly delivered one-liners, and facial
expressions were a joy to watch! Mr. Burg, usually the suave and debonair hero that makes all the ladies
swoon, played a nerdy, bookish, and for lack of a better term…dweeb. From his posture, to his costume
and hair it was a complete transformation from the “Joe David” that all the ladies know and love. From
his choreographed chaos during his first entrance, to his final triumphant pose as he swore he solved
the mystery, he was absolute, non-stop hilarity the whole time. Ms. Beaver and Mr. Burg play the lovers
of the show and though there was absolutely no romance involved in the script, their interactions and
chemistry together on stage were brilliant and that of a couple that has been together for years and are
completely comfortable teasing each other.
Jocelyn Chalke’s daughter, Amy, was played by 13 year old Kelly Hamilton. I was most impressed by
her petulant facial expressions and have no doubt she has had ample time in her real life to imitate her
art! Brinton Chalke, the sullen, aspiring artist, and brother to Mortimer and Jocelyn was played by Jeff
Mulligan. He played the awkward and insecure character well and you found yourself feeling sorry for
him as he attempted to stay in the room with his child hood crush.
The show included Linda Meyers as Windy Windwood, the unfortunate and unsuspecting suspect of the
show. At one point in the show Windy Windwood is called upon to play the piano and sing a silly tune
she wrote for her children about sausage frying in a pan. Not only were her facial expressions hilarious
but her timing with the pre-recorded music as she pantomimed playing the piano were perfect. I never
once doubted that she was playing a live piano.
My only complaints are simple, and few. I felt that the scene change between scenes one and two was
a bit too long, and that occasionally an accent here and there faded. As a whole, this show was a belly
laugh and a half, and I’d gladly see it another three times to see the other endings!
“It Could Be Anyone of Us” runs at Sam Bass Community Theatre for another three performances.