Jeeves Takes a Bow is the funny new offering by the highly-acclaimed First Folio Theatre. Based upon the stories of P.G. Woodhouse about a wealthy British gentleman named Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves, this installment of the Jeeves series brings the Brits stateside to New York City.
The show is described as "British upper crust meets the NY mob" which promised so many funny possibilities. When we saw the show during media previews, it seemed a bit slow at the beginning. Unlike American comedy which hits you in the face from the opening curtain, British humor builds. Jeeves Takes a Bow builds to a point where you are laughing constantly.
The show, set during Prohibition, centers around a beautiful Art Deco New York apartment.I think I spent the first few minutes of the show just admiring the gorgeous design. The characters rotate in and out using all parts of the set. When you first see it you doubt they can pull off an entire show in one room, but they do it deftly.
What makes the show so funny is the pitch perfect performance of each cast member. You can see Ruby (Jennifer Shine) in a NYC speakeasy. Vivian (Lydia Berger Gray) is the kind of uptight, upper crust Brit you would probably have found throughout England during the 1920s. Knuckles McCann (David Rice) could be a stereotype, but there's something endearing about Knuckles.
We last saw Bertie Wooster (Christian Gray) as Edgar Allan Poe in The Madness of Edger Allen Poe. His ability to play comedy as well as he played the dramatic role was remarkable. Binky Binkerstein (Kevin McKillip) is a perfect foil as Bertie's school chum. The beauty of these two characters is they recognize they are simply rich and that's enough. They don't try to solve world problems or even think about anything other than what is happening at a specific point in time. At their core they are good guys, which is what makes them endearing and not annoying.
Jeeves (Jim McCance) is the kind of valet everyone should have. I think in our politically correct 21st Century world we'd call him a personal assistant. I know I'd like to have a personal assistant who was so smart he could solve all my problems and find the best moonshine.
This is a show that makes a great date night, but it's also fun for older teens. First Folio Theatre makes it home in the beautiful Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. It's an easy drive from Chicago and most suburbs. Parking is free.
Jeeves Takes a Bow runs Wednesday - Sunday through March 3. Don't wait too long to get your tickets for a fun and funny evening. For more information visit www.firstfolio.org or 630-986-8067.
Disclaimer: We did receive free tickets as part of the media previews. My words and opinions are my own.