Have you had your flu shot this season? Apparently, no cast member in Suffer the Long Night has had theirs. That’s exactly why 6 of the 13 cast members are absent from the production. What do you do when the majority of your cast is out with the flu? The show must go on, of course. SO, you grab your stage manager, multiply actors characters by 2 or 3 and whoever else is willing to help out. What ensues is the hilarity that is Agape Actors Co-Op production of Suffer the Long Night, written by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke (Meet the Parents), directed by Jeff Davis.
Let’s be clear, this isn’t the story of Suffer the Long Night but the story of the fictional Merrillville Merry Art Players trying to make it through a production of STLN when their cast has the flu. What could possibly go wrong? The answer is everything; from falling lighting and sound effects ill-timed to drunk actors and, well, I won’t give the best part away but it’s a doozy. I haven’t heard an audience laugh like that in any recent production.
What absolutely makes this play is Dave Lovelace who plays Thom Elam who plays Bob Burling and 2 others. I have seen Lovelace in other Agape productions but have seen nothing that compares to this. I think his strength is comedy. His facial expressions of confusion, disgust and horror kept me laughing even after the show was over. In fact, I’m chuckling right now thinking about them.
I give two thumbs up to cast and crew, especially the director, Jeff Davis, in creating an experience that allows the audience to “forget their troubles and laugh for two hours”. What a wonderful gift. Don’t miss your last few opportunities to see it; playing now at the East View High Black Box Theatre in Georgetown, through the 21st.