Jim Kelsh knows the newest play to hit ’s stage pretty well.
He played the lead in the "Don't Drink the Water" in 1986 when the community theater group first took it on. As part of Forge’s 50th anniversary season, plays chosen were those that did well in the past, and this Woody Allen comedy was a hit back in the 24th season.
“We went back to the shows of the last 50 years,” Kelsh said.
This time around, Kelsh directs the show, which he said is one that isn’t performed live often enough.
“I’ve seen two horrible movie versions,” he said.
Actors from Forge will bring the play to life beginning Friday, Jan. 13 and those used to Woody Allen’s movies will be in for a treat.
“This is slapstick and just lowbrow funny,” Kelsh said.
The show’s tech people, who’ve seen the play probably 40 times throughout the course of rehearsals, still found it fresh and funny, so those seeing it for the first time should be ready for humor.
“Monday night we were still screaming with laughter,” Kelsh said.
Production dates are Jan. 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27 and 28. All shows are at 8 p.m. except for a 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 22.
In an unnamed country behind the Iron Curtain, the American ambassador leaves the embassy for business, placing his inept son in charge. Almost immediately the embassy is thrust into a zany series of comic crises when a family of tourists seeks asylum in "Don’t Drink the Water," a slapstick farce about a New Jersey family held captive in the American embassy during the Cold War.
Featuring author Woody Allen’s trademark offbeat humor, "Don’t Drink the Water" first appeared as a part of Forge’s 24th season.
Jim Kelsh directs the show, which is produced by Marnie Herzfeld. The stage manager is Linda Blystone.
The cast features Bob Goretski, Jeff Ball, Melanie Magolan, A.S. Freeman, Randy Knox, Bev Smith, Abbie Cicmowski, Gary Bullock, Brian Schwartz, Anthony Marsala, Danielle E. Greenberg, Denise Wisneski and Ed Wisneski.
Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for those 18 and under.
Reservations can be made online at www.forgetheatre.org or by calling 610-935-1920. Saturday, Jan. 15 is sold out, but there are still tickets available for other performances.