Even in the best of times, money isn't a laughing matter for most people, but if you're English farceur Ray Cooney, you can create Funny Money -- and you can show a character's predicament when he mistakenly picks up a briefcase filled with 735,000 British pounds.
The popular comedy gets its West Coast premiere Aug. 1, at the International City Theatre of Long Beach, CA. The show began previews July 29 and runs to Sept. 7.
Cooney is best known for Run For Your Wife! (which starred the author and Paxton Whitehead on Broadway) and such other zany works as Not Now Darling, Move Over Mrs. Markham, Two Into One and It Runs In The Family. 1991'S Out Of Order won the London Olivier Award for Best Comedy -- and played at ICT in 1995.
Said director Claudia Jaffee in a statement, Funny Money "is not about the obvious -- how money changes people. It's about people who get turned on by the fact that the money is illicit. They're very straitlaced people who get totally juiced and charged up by this chance to buck the system. Cooney also has a deliciously bent attitude toward sexual morality..." Jaffee is the producing director of West Coast Ensemble.
Starring in Funny Money are Brenan Baird, Dan Forrest, Susan Lanier, Kyle Moore, Tom Paliferro, Tracy Pulliam, and Time Winters. Designing the play are David Wisniewski (sets), Sherry Linnell (costumes), and Rand Ryan (lighting). For tickets ($18-$20) and information on Funny Money, Aug. 1-Sept. 7 at ICT, call (562) 938-4128.
-- By David Lefkowitz