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November 13, 2013

DLT’s latest production declared a huge success

DUNCAN — Sure some of the French accents were less than convincing, but that only added to the laughs.

Duncan Little Theatre’s production of “Anything to Declare,” is a French farce following a family through a love of art, problems with a train conductor and a series of relationship woes. Needless to say, this was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while.

The humor is a bit more adult than what people might expect from DLT, but much of the adultness is talked around and coded. While the audience may fully understand what’s going on, there are several characters who follow along confused and unable to grasp what’s happening.

I guess it would be called dramatic irony, when the audience knows something the characters don’t. And dramatic irony is traditionally used to increase a production’s humor.

The acting was terrific, even if a few of the accents weren’t. But nothing spells out humor like a bad accent. Does anyone else remember Kevin Costner’s accent in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”? That was an unintentionally bad accent, but it made the drama hilarious for future generations.

Everyone in the production gave standout performances. Kassie Gilmore may come off as a bit shy and quiet when you meet her, but don’t be fool. Gilmore’s turn as Adelaide DuPont gives new meanings to unsuspecting wife and mother-in-law.

Justin Sullivan, Darrel Ashford and Garrison Matlock all play two characters. What’s amazing is all of the characters are memorable, save for Matlock’s briefly seen and never heard police officer. These three actors created characters who not only make bad decision, but quickly realize how deep things have gotten.

Another standout performance was given by newcomer Jan Patton, who delivered some of the funniest lines in the entire production. Patton’s character is pretty much the only person who fully understands what’s going on and had several ideas to resolve just about every situation. Plus, she’s not above a well-played practical joke.

So I don’t get caught up in naming all 11 actors and their fantastic portrayals, just know that the entire cast did an outstanding job.

I went to see this play on Friday. And by the time I left the theater, nearly 2 1/2 hours later, I found myself blown away by how out of control things got. Even into the next day, I still found myself laughing over my favorite parts.

Let’s just say, the men in this play may collect art, but none are truly are lovers.

As with all DLT productions, this show was made possible with a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council. With DLT being a non-profit organization, I was thrilled to see so many people show up for the premier night to support this excellent group of actors.

For anyone who didn’t make it to the play opening weekend, DLT actors will once again perform this production at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Simmons Center Theatre. The humor is a bit more PG-13 than most DLT productions, but this is one show an adult audience shouldn’t miss.

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