Humphrey Bogart rolled over as the Richland Players usurped his fame with their production of My Three Angels.
From the appearance of the very nave Felix Ducotal, portrayed brilliantly by Jim Salaba, to the available Lieutenant, played by Michael Thomas, this show was just a fun ride.
Ducotal has opened a store in French Guiana along with his long-suffering wife Emilie and their gullible daughter Marie Louis.
Unfortunately, Felix has a kind heart that is frequently taken advantage of, and his terrible business acumen means he must now answer to his Uncle Henri Touchard, who holds the purse strings.
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But before the miserly Henri arrives, the Ducotals are graced with the presence of three residents of the Bastille.
Joseph, (Robert Chisolm) is the epitome of extreme. He is a cook-the-books expert, which means he could sell ice to Eskimos. With tongue-in-cheek defiance of the rules and a steel will that allows him to play this generous character without laughing, Chisolm took control of the stage and never let it go.
Jules, the chicken-stealing cook, is wonderfully played by Paul Roy. Paul gives us a very believable character.
Alfred, the nurturer who internally vows to protect those he is charged with, was played with a genuine likability by Jerry Bush.
A look through the remainder of this cast reveals all wonderful players:
Jim Salaba (Felix) has the single most infectious smile of all the cast members, and he moves across the boards with ease. You can't help but be happy that someone is helping him, and we silently cheered for his success.
Elona Benefiel (Emilie) is at home playing in the group, and her bland delivery was perfect for playing the straight woman to this comedic group.
Kevin Nettleton (Henri) gave us his big booming voice and gruff personality that made everyone sit up straight as he portrayed the perfect villain.
Bryan McGlothin (Paul) is the long-suffering nephew of Henri who was portrayed in such a manner that the audience at once felt sorry for him only to find that, oops, it was we, that made the mistake.
At first glance, Madame Parole showed up as a fox in the hen house. She knew what she was doing and to whom she was doing it. Her portrayal by Barbara Wilson was a joy, but it was her extreme facial expressions in the second act that had the audience laughing.
Amy Lynne Darling (Marie Louis) successfully showed us the softer side of young womanhood.
Lastly, the deserving person who will become a part of Marie Louis' life is none other than the lieutenant portrayed by Michael Thomas. What can you say? Who doesn't love a man in uniform?
For a feel good night out that will leave you with a smile, go and see this performance. Those of us in attendance opening night gave this one a standing ovation.
*Layne Newman spent 27 years as a military wife before moving to Kennewick. Her two passions are theater and history, both of which she picked up while growing up in New Zealand.