The soap opera of running a coffee shop in Tacoma offers another episode with Dukesbay Production’s original script for “Java Tacoma 4: The Merry Wives Americano.”
This time, Jeri, Kate and Linda find themselves in trouble when a homeless man turns up dead after sipping coffee and downing cookies at the fictitious Perky's Coffee House. Entering from stage left is a cop on the take and a $50,000 pricetag to make their troubles disappear in this modern spoof of William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” the fourth installment of the series.”
The Matthew L. Anderson written show features a multi-racial cast, including Chevi Chung, Aya Hashiguchi, Jack House, Susan Mayeno, Micheal O’Hara, Sharry O’Hare, John Pfaffe & Marie Tjernlund, and was directed by Randy Clark. Original theme song and musical score is composed by Allan Loucks.
The one-set show wholly takes place in the coffee shop with the audience planning the role as an absent wall to provide an intimate vantage point of the happenings that include a long list of local references and comedic moments in an unlikely storyline. The gist is that the cop, (O’Hara) is dating two women and hatches a plan to land big dough by shaking the shop down to cover up the homeless man’s death. But he set the whole thing up by pretending to be the homeless man and staging his own death.
The script is fairly unbelievable, which would have been made more effective had the actors opted for a more vaudevillian style, over-the-top delivery of their lines. But that didn’t happen, making for some odd moments that exposed the plotting failures. That said, the show was enjoyable for what it was, and it was well staged and well acted outside the script-delivery troubles.
“JAVA TACOMA: Episode 4, The Merry Wives Americano" plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 4,5,6, and 11,12,13 at The Dukesbay Theater, located above The Grand Cinema at 508 S. Sixth Ave. #10.
All tickets are $10, which includes coffee and an assortment of baked goods. Visit www.dukesbay.org for information.