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Jo (Sandra Ish) and Mary (Shannon Rider) warn Amanda (Victoria Saitz) of the danger she is in.
Jo (Sandra Ish) and Mary (Shannon Rider) warn Amanda (Victoria Saitz) of the danger she is in.

Review – ‘Women in Jeopardy!’ at Left Edge Theatre in Santa Rosa

May 11, 2018
by Alexa Chipman


Overenthusiastic friends become convinced that Liz’s new boyfriend, who is rather odd, is a serial killer stalking young women with his collection of antique dentistry equipment. In between baking delicious banana coffee cake and flirting with the local police sergeant, Mary is determined to stop his nefarious plans with the help of Jo, who lurks stoically in the background, occasionally making snarky remarks.

Amanda (Victoria Saitz) and Trenner (Zane Walters) share a quiet moment at the campsite.Wendy MacLeod’s writing has a slick, sitcom pace and saucy sense of humor that keeps the audience chuckling, despite potentially alarming situations. Argo Thompson’s folding set shifts between delicate birch trees, a garish snowboarding shop, police station, and suburban kitchen.

Disconcerting and adorable couple Liz (Angela Squire) and Jackson (Richard Pallaziol) are too busy with embarrassing, raunchy shared jokes to notice that her friends are coming to decided opinions regarding Jackson’s bizarre sense of humor. Pallaziol balances an overtly macabre personality with admiring glances of a devoted boyfriend—is he a criminal or not?

Interrupting her quiet life of fun runs and book clubs, Shannon Rider’s spirited Mary becomes obsessed with Liz’s potentially dangerous choice. She tries to recruit Amanda (Victoria Saitz) and Trenner (Zane Walters) to her cause, enthusiastically waving bundt pans and putting up with Trenner’s naïve attempts at flattery. Sandra Ish’s Jo is fairly indifferent until she believes Amanda might be in danger, turning to heartily support Mary’s nonsensical schemes. Her costume designs, particularly Mary’s pajama lounging ensemble, add playfully amusing elements to the characters.

Trenner (Zane Walters) attempts to seduce an amused Mary (Shannon Rider)

‘Women in Jeopardy!’ is an irreverent glimpse into hysterical flights of fancy and the lengths to which people will go in defense of friends, even if that means hiking a narrow mountain trail in the dark with a potential killer on the loose. Left Edge Theatre’s vivacious cast and tight direction from Carla Spindt create an engaging adventure. Pull your hiking boots on for a creepy, entertaining camping trip with the ‘Women in Jeopardy!’

Women in Jeopardy

Presented by Left Edge Theatre through May 27, 2018
Fri/Sat at 8:00pm, Sun at 2:00pm

Left Edge Studio Theatre at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 546-3600

Photos from Argo Thompson

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