By Alec Clayton
It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between bad acting and good actors playing the part of bad actors — or between a bad script and a play about a badly written show. Audiences at Olympia Little Theatre’s farcical The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered, written by Don Zolidis and directed by Katelyn May, are left to decide for themselves.
There’s a long tradition of comedies about incompetent theatrical companies butchering plays. In this case, it’s a spoof of the on-its-last-legs soap opera The Bold and the Young. The cast and crew are constantly at each other’s throats, and death threats on the set are not uncommon. The clichéd hunky hero (Robert Kam as Morris Nyborg) is obsessed with fears that his butt is too flat and he’s losing his sex appeal; the apparent villain (Tom Sanders as John Burk) is now an old man who constantly demands soup; the stage manager (Silva Goetz) is simply insane; and one of the actors — who for now shall go unnamed — is an undercover FBI agent.
In true murder mystery tradition, first one, then another, then another is murdered, and the murderer clearly must be someone on set.
The acting by everyone except the camera operator (Andrea Weston-Smart), and to a lesser degree the producer (Ed Thorpe), is ridiculously over the top.
The standout actor is Sanders, with his slicked-back, silver hair, shiny suit and red scarf, who sits imperiously on his stuffed-chair throne and won’t let anyone else sit in it.
Goetz has the rubber face and high-energy physicality to rival a Jim Carrey or Robin Williams, but her laughing and screaming is auditorily painful.
Weston-Smart is the only naturalistic actor on the stage, and although she’s always on the periphery and hardly speaks, her expressions are golden.
The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered is too loud and too long at more than two hours, but it might be the soup of the day for people in need of a laugh or two.
The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered
7:25 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays;
1:55 p.m. Sundays through March 20
Olympia Little Theatre,
1925 Miller Ave., Olympia