Actor/playwright Jeffrey Binder joins Kinetic along with his script, a modern adaptation of Molière’s Les Fourberies de Scapin, for the second-ever production of Scapino, directed by Kinetic’s artistic director Andrew Paul. In Binder’s version, the schemer Scapino (Binder) is a fresh-out-of-the-pen lawyer caught up in the drama between two mafia families as their patriarchs (Wesley Mann and Pittsburgh favorite David Whalen) attempt to arrange a marriage between their children. When things go awry and death threats start flying thick and fast between the two families, Scapino steps in with a promise to clean everything up — cleaning up for himself along the way with a briefcase or two full of cash. Bada bing, bada boom.
The decision to set a mafia story on a beach in Florida, much like the decision to adapt Molière as a mafia story in the first place, is an odd one — but one that is easy to go along with. Why not? The sandy beachfront set makes the play feel a little like a vacation, and it makes the sweat that’s frequently visible on the actors’ brows feel that much more natural.
Scapino’s high energy and breakneck dialogue, though tiring at points, twist around into a good joke often enough to make the play a fun and funny night at the theater. And if you sit in the front row, you might get the chance, as I and two other women at my performance did, to go at an actor playing a notorious mafia Don with a pool noodle while he cowers inside a sack. Reader, we whacked him.