Review by Steve Desroches
A shart is what happens when someone gambles and loses. Schartt$ Creek is what happens when someone takes a risk and it pays off marvelously. Parodies are a particular kind of tight-rope in that there has to be enough of the original source to be recognizable, but the expectation is that the humor will be innovative as to be a new work. Playwright Jamie Morris and his cast succeed in tapping into the kind-hearted comedy that made Schitt’s Creek such a television phenomenon while presenting a Provincetown-centric, fan-fiction continuation of the story featuring the most beloved characters camping it up on the Cape tip.
In Schartt$ Creek: Honeymoon in Ptown, David is upset when he finds himself all alone in Provincetown as Patrick skips their post-wedding trip. And one by one the Rose family, along with Stevie, come to comfort David in their beautifully dysfunctional yet earnest way. In the process Alexis and Stevie each dip their toe into the local dating pool while Moira and Johnny can’t help but see opportunity everywhere they look in Provincetown. The script is crisp and ripe with dynamic interactions between each character and is also chock full of Provincetown jokes that make the town sound much like Schitt’s Creek-by-the-Sea.
What drives Schartt$ Creek: Honeymoon in Ptown home is the performances by a stellar cast. Four actors bring to life seven characters with three doing double duty. Nigel Revenge perfectly vacillates between the paternal smooth and steady-as-she-goes Johnny and the loveable anxiety of David with all the accompanying bobble-headed frenzy. Eric Maul presents tomboy Stevie with flannel precision, but his Alexis with the swaying Tyrannosaurus Rex hands punctuated with the intermittent bug eyes and “Ew, Davids” is a laugh riot before he even delivers a line. Chris Covell digs into the sand as he creates two fun Provincetown characters new to this story, the dentally challenged local party boy Cecil and Bea, a Sapphic realtor who can actually say town real estate prices with a straight face. Both playfully poke fun at the absurdities of life in Provincetown and give the impression that the Rose family would fit in quite nicely here. And then there’s Morris as Moira Rose. Morris captures the wonderfully odd cadence in speech created by comedy genius Catherine O’Hara, with a wink and a nod, knowing when to lean in and take a step back. The laughter begins upon his arrival and doesn’t subside the entire show.
Schartt$ Creek: Honeymoon in Ptown is at the Post Office Cabaret, 303 Commercial St., Provincetown, Friday, September 16 and Sunday, September 18; Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25; and Thursday, September 29 at 9 p.m. Tickets ($35) are available at the box office and online at postofficecafe.net. For more information call 508.487.0087.