News and Tribune

Entertainment News

May 23, 2014

WHALEY: DDP’s ‘Cash on Delivery’ full of laughs

CLARKSVILLE — ‘Cash on Delivery,” a non-stop British “tour de farce” that leaves an audience weak from laughter, is Derby Dinner Playhouse’s inspired choice for its 40th anniversary opening.

Under producer Bekki Jo Schneider’s mile-a-minute direction of a cast that throws itself into the play’s demented doings with total seriousness, there’s hardly a moment to catch a breath before the next preposterous happening.

Eric Swan (Cary Wiger), who lost his job about two years ago, cashed a check mailed to a former tenant and, unknown to his wife (Tina Jo Wallace), then worked up a “fiddle,” as the Brits call a larcenous scheme, to bilk the Social Security Department of other sums in other names.

When Mr. Jenkins, a government agent (John Vessels), shows up to request signatures on a form, Swan corrals tenant Norman McDonald (J. R. Stuart) into impersonating Swan himself, who pretends to be someone else.

Wiger, Stuart, and Vessels are expert farceurs with impeccable timing, verbal dexterity, and wide-eyed determination to compel others to believe their lies. For extra added silliness there’s a weird pseudo-Asian (if that’s what it was) accent employed by Vessels as the hopelessly square agent.

Farce without slamming doors would not be cricket so scenic and properties designer Ron Riall provides two here that get a heavy workout from all 10 characters, whose stamina and physical agility would seem to defy gravity.

Vessels as Mr. Jenkins recaps in act two what has thus far taken place for the formidable chief borough inspector Ms. Cowper (Elizabeth Loos) who has come to check on him. What he recounts makes no sense to anyone who’s sane so do not expect a reviewer to do it. As one of Pirandello’s characters said, “Life is full of infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true.”

However, Bill Hanna’s Uncle George (Swan’s uncle) has to be cheered as he plays a corpse in red underwear and is jolted around on an undertaker’s stretcher, stuffed into a window seat, and upended into a dustbin supposedly filled with last month’s kitty litter.

But wait — cross-dressing enters the plot.  Swan’s wife suspects he’s a transvestite when she discovers female clothes and undergarments in the house. She brings in Dr. Chapman, a humorless psychiatrist (Paul Kerr), who calls it “a suppressed mother fixation.”

That blond wig and dress end up on Stuart (don’t ask) to hilarious effect.  And Ms. Cowper is furious when Swan, thinking she is Uncle George in drag, jokingly gets touchy-feely with her and Mr. Jenkins.

“Cash On Delivery” by Michael Cooney, son of famed playwright Ray Cooney, whose classic farces include “Run For Your Wife” and “Caught in the Net” (both previously produced by Derby Dinner) is quite the bawdy romp with decidedly unsubtle blue notes. Just leave your sensitivities at home and have yourself a ball.

“Cash On Delivery” runs through June 29. For tickets and information:  812-288-8281, toll free 877-898-8577, or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Entertainment News
  • "Hercules" movie poster Movie preview: “Hercules”

    Plot: Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Lucy" movie poster Movie preview: “Lucy”

    Plot: Writer/director Luc Besson helms this action-thriller that tracks a woman who falls prey to sinister underworld forces, but gains superhuman abilities that allow her to strike back at her oppressors.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • :Sex Tape" movie poster Movie preview: “Sex Tape”

    Plot: Though they’re still very much in love, ten years and two kids have cooled the passion for Jay and Annie. To spice up their relationship, they decide to make a home video of themselves.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Planes: Fire and Rescue" movie poster Movie preview: “Planes: Fire and Rescue”

    Plot: When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • "The Purge: Anarchy" movie poster Movie preview: “The Purge: Anarchy”

    Plot: A defenseless young couple find themselves stranded in the city on the one night of the year that all crime, including murder, is legal, in this self-contained sequel to the 2013 sleeper hit.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" movie poster Movie preview: “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes”

    Plot: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Snowpiercer" movie poster Movie preview: “Snowpiercer”

    Plot: In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off all life on the planet, the few left alive have boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels non-stop around the globe while a class system evolves.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Whaley, Charles.jpg WHALEY: DDP’s 'Mary Poppins’ worth cheering about

    Oh, if we could all have one of those roomy carpetbags like the one stuffed with everything that “Practically Perfect” nanny Mary Poppins needs to work her magic.
    Director Lee Buckholz, Derby Dinner Playhouse’s associate producer, must have had one containing the smoothly fit components he pulled together for his magical “Mary Poppins” musical.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Deliver Us From Evil" movie poster Movie preview: “Deliver Us From Evil”

    Plot: In a paranormal world, a N.Y. police officer and a priest team up to investigate real life demon possessions, exorcisms and werewolves after dark.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tammy movie poster WEB.jpg Movie preview: “Tammy”

    Plot: After losing her fast food job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

Easter 2014 photos

Click on any photo to purchase it.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.