The only people who know what’s happening in “Cash on Delivery” are the actors. And sometimes they aren’t sure what’s going on, either.
On Friday the Baraboo Theatre Guild will open its production of Michael Cooney’s fast-paced British farce. The dinner theater comedy will be staged for two weekends at Farm Kitchen.
The play is about a con artist who has duped welfare authorities for years by claiming benefits for the innumerable people he claims live at his address. But he is sent scrambling when investigators show up and he is forced to prove all his boarders are real. It’s a wild romp full of mistaken identities, slamming doors and general chaos.
“I think audiences will love the non-stop action,” director Mark Hamdan-Krause said. “Our goal as an acting troupe is to not give them a chance to breathe.”
Part of the 11-member cast of community actors is Iveta Ball, who plays the con artist’s wife. Unaware of his schemes at first, her character at first suspects her husband is a cross-dresser. As her knowledge of his activities expands, her ability to keep it together crumbles.
“Besides the brilliant and hilarious series of misunderstandings, which would keep the audience guessing and laughing throughout, the cast members have built a great connection with one another,” Ball said, “which helps in developing rich and extremely funny relationships between their characters.”
Playing her scammer husband Eric Swan is veteran community actor Scott Rawson. His tomfoolery has netted him thousands, tax-free, but he’s beginning to feel the scheme is too risky. Just when he decides to kill off his many imaginary welfare recipients, investigators arrive. This forces him to enlist help in an incredible coverup.
Rawson, who has performed for many groups in Baraboo and is himself a playwright, raved about the script. “This is the funniest script I have ever read,” he said. “Even after weeks of rehearsal, despite having heard all the jokes already, the cast has been cracking up at rehearsal.”