A couple of years ago, Island Players staged a highly entertaining spoof of British murder mysteries called “Murder Room.” The playwright’s name was Jack Sharkey.
If you enjoyed Sharkey’s writing in that show, you’re likely to enjoy the writing of Rick Abbott, the playwright behind “Play On!,” which is next up from Island Players.
You’re likely to enjoy it because Rick Abbott is Jack Sharkey. Playwrights Monk Ferris, Mark Chandler and Mike Johnson are also Jack Sharkey.
Sharkey was so prolific — he published something like 86 plays — that he used a lot of different noms de plume, apparently so that he wouldn’t flood the market with plays under his own name.
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“Play On!” is one of his better known comedies, a backstage farce about a community theater group trying to stage a play while the playwright keeps revising the script. It starts with early rehearsals, moves through dress rehearsal and finally to a disastrous performance.
It sounds like a show that theater lovers should love. It also sounds like a show that theater people would love to produce and perform, which of course makes it more fun for audiences.
The show’s directed by area theater stalwart Heiko Knipfelberg, and the cast features a lot of area stage favorites, including Caroline Cox, Diana Shoemaker and Mark Shoemaker.