You see, there's not much one can say about the play without compromising one or more of the devilish twists of mystery spoofing that playwright Rupert Holmes does so well to tie his audience into playful intellectual bondage. Holmes, it appears, sat down to write a play so that it could be as clever as his fresh mind could ever conceiveit's a roller coaster of devices and deceptions.
As his community theater acting and directing portfolio grows, Todd C. Huse obviously thrives on this irreverent peeling back of logical thought workings; he's directed "Tommy" and "The Rocky Horror Show" for Elden Street in the recent past. He does relish the fiendish, mischievous moment, and "Accomplice" is the perfect directing vehicle for him to stretch the comedic talents of the actor ensemble of four: Tom Flatt, Shannon Benton, John Bordeaux and Ann Colly.
All I'll reveal about the plot is that, yes, it is mostly a mystery. Beyond that, anything goes. As with most comedy, especially with a barrage of spoof-themed dialogue, timing is everything. At times, some of the humor falls off the table onto the floor, a shade flat.
Shannon Benton is a key acting force on stage, carrying many scenes and setting the tone for the play's mood. She is seductive, sexy and quite aware of the magnitude of her role. She takes the challenge and gives us a performance of notable distinction.
Tom Flatt delivers many of the droll straight lines with a dash of sarcasm and wit thrown into the mix. John Bordeaux, one of my favorites as Dr. Scott in "The Rocky Horror Show," shows his versatility and talent in a role whose character must tie most of the show's endless loose ends together.
Ann Colly is an absolute delight as the show's empty soul. She delivers the best "brief partial female nudity" scene seen on the local community stage in my eight years of covering local theater. Well, actually, Elden Street Players is the only troupe to let the risqué roll this far in the shows I've reviewed, and this is one funny bared moment you won't want to miss.
Writer Holmes gives director Huse a mystery, a thriller and a sex farce to share with his actors. Todd Huse responds admirably with the same firm director's vision that shines more each time he leads a production, joining the handful of superb local directors that you can always count on to deliver a play's best qualities.
The lighting design by Brian Skadowski was flawless, and the lighting crew and board operators were appropriately seamless in weaving the light direction into the play. Judy Whelihan has become known for her stylish creativity with costumes, and the women on stage in "Accomplice" are certainly well dressed.
"Accomplice" is another triumphant effort by Elden Street, with its accomplished direction, its clever reading by the fine actors and its eye for the wit in a mystery that denies description in a review.