Have you ever wanted to leave your humdrum life behind you and escape to the city for a thrilling night out on the town? This desire, plus mistaken identities, plentiful innuendos, zany characters, and lots of confusion make for the twisted plot of Lee’s Summit High School’s production of “On The Razzle.”
Set in turn of the century Austria, and based on an old Viennese play, “On The Razzle” tells the tale of two grocery clerks in a small town who decide close up shop and follow their boss to Vienna.
In the role of Weinberl, the main shopkeeper, Daniel Verschelden delivers a highly polished performance. Verschelden’s comedic timing is impeccable, his diction is clear, and his enthusiasm brings an exciting energy to the production.
Another spirited performance is given by Dashawn Young as Melchoir, the shop owner’s assistant. Young’s face is expressive and his vocal inflection is effectively comical. Both Young and Verschelden use physical comedy to emphasize comedic moments within the show, as well as create a unique persona for their characters.
As Madame Knorr, the owner of a haute-couture boutique in Vienna, Kayla Burns supplies a charismatic performance. When Burns glides across the stage, she exudes an air of much-needed feminine warmth. Her interactions with other characters on stage are engaging, and she is easily heard.
Also bringing a feminine touch to the show is Kirsten Myers as Lisette, the French maid. Although she is given little stage time, Myers delivers a memorable performance. Her charming French accent is not too thick, her comedic timing is precise and skillful, and she has wonderful chemistry with Jordan Dale who plays the Coachman.
One of the standout technical elements of the show is the lighting by Andrew Wright. The lighting matches the mood and setting of each scene and is especially impressive in the garden scene, in which hues of purple, blue, and green are utilized to create a romantic evening effect. The stage crew, managed by Danny Clover is quiet and efficient, and props by Taylor Snyder are period-appropriate and functional.
At times, performers are difficult to understand due to a lack of volume and diction, making the already confusing plot even more challenging to comprehend. However, the energy of the performers never wavers, and the show never lags. There are a few small technical errors in the show, but none detract too much from the action onstage, and are easily overcome by the cast and crew.
Strong technical elements combined with invested performances from all of the performers make Lee’s Summit High School’s production of “On The Razzle;” a genuinely entertaining production.