Town Players staging 'Love, Sex and the IRS' in New Canaan
On the face of them, taxes are really not all that funny.
But they seem to inspire a near endless stream of jokes, funny sayings and comedic tales, with the latest coming to life Friday, Feb. 25, at the Powerhouse Theatre in New Canaan.
"Love, Sex and the IRS," begins a two-week run Friday, Feb. 25, with the Town Players of New Canaan.
This 1979 comic farce, by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, focuses on two New York City musicians who are out of work and looking for ways to save money. One of them, Jon, decides to make the other, Leslie, a she, even though he is a he, and feign marital status on his tax return.
Before long, the taxman comes knocking.
"This play is mainly about friendship and what lengths we're willing to go and protect our friends," said Chris Peterson of Hamden, who is directing the play.
Still, he and the others involved in the play were quick to point out that it is a frothy bit of theater, intended to entertain and make the audience giggle. It is a fast-paced story, complete with action and sight gags.
"It's a very silly story," said Fredda Takacs of Trumbull, who plays Vivian, Jon's mom.
You see, in addition to his tinkering with the taxes, Jon is also planning a wedding, along with fiancée Kate. Unfortunately, for Jon, Kate has fallen for Leslie. And, Leslie's girlfriend, Connie, is upset that Leslie doesn't seem to want to spend time with her anymore. Vivian arrives just in time to throw her weight around as a domineering mom, a perfect foil for Bob Filipowich's Internal Revenue Service agent, Floyd Spinner.
"He's not very well-liked," said Fairfield resident Filipowich of his character. "They know he is coming over, so it is not a surprise. But they decide to get this guy totally bombed."
Meanwhile, Takacs' character is doing a fine job of becoming inebriated on her own.
The Trumbull resident said she has enjoyed getting into this comic character, considering her traits are quite contrary to her own. But that is the fun of acting, Takacs said.
"It is a cool metamorphosis," she said. "You don't know anything about this character, and by the end you have absorbed so much of it within yourself."
And the timing of this production is quite appropriate, as it is only months away until tax day, a rite fraught with divergent opinions.
"Some may view taxes as a noble duty or service; others may see them as a waste at best or institutionalized robbery at worst," said Ryan Henderson, who plays Leslie. "But, I think even the most high-minded of us see it as an inconvenience, and almost nobody enjoys it when the tax man cometh. And that conflict is interesting."
Henderson, who lives in Stamford, said he has enjoyed working with the cast, some of whom he has collaborated with in the past. The rest of the cast includes Stamford's Marta Coppola as Kate, Townsend Ambrecht, Mike Hodges and Rochelle Woodson.
After weeks of rehearsals, director Peterson is looking forward to the reaction of a live audience.
"Laughter isn't something you can always plan for. Most of the times the audience will laugh at moments we weren't expecting it for," he said. "So, that's always a nice surprise. This show is fun, fun for the cast and fun for the audience. I think they are going to have a great time."
The Powerhouse Theatre of the Town Players of New Canaan is at 697 South Ave, New Canaan. Fridays, Feb. 25, March 4 and 11 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 26, March 5 and 12 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 27 and March 6 2:30 p.m. $20 adults; $15 students, seniors. 203-966-7371, www.tpnc.org.