Arts & Leisure

“Get Smart” at HBP is plenty smart

CHRISTI PERDIGO and Matt Weiner star in "Get Smart" at the Huntington Beach Playhouse.

CHRISTI PEDIGO and Matt Weiner star in “Get Smart” at the Huntington Beach Playhouse.

By Thom deMartino

Shadowy conspiratorial agencies, bent on world domination… a young maiden in peril… an American counterespionage force determined to protect their country and its citizens at any cost — all the elements for a thrilling spy drama.

And smack-dab in the middle of it, the most inept agent imaginable.

stagereviewbug“Get Smart,” based on the 60’s comedy series and currently playing at the Huntington Beach Playhouse (located in its secret lair beneath the Huntington Beach Library) hearkens back to a long-past age of industrial espionage, double-agents, mind-control and ultimate deterrents (then again, perhaps it’s more timely than one would think…)

When brilliant scientist Professor Dante (Gil Morales) and a working model of his super-weapon the Enthermo (get it — Dante’s Enthermo?) are commandeered by the sinister spies of KAOS, it’s up to the best agents of CONTROL to suss out and neutralize their nefarious plans. Unfortunately, what they have is Agent 86, Maxwell Smart (Seth Weiner), a bumbling oaf of a spy who bungles his way through assignments, yet somehow manages to emerge miraculously unscathed.

The head of CONTROL, the Chief (Frank Valdez) realizes even Smart’s dumb luck may not be enough to thwart this international organization of evil and pairs him with the savvy Agent 99 (Christi Pedigo). Further complicating the scenario is the visiting Princess Ingrid (Camryn Hohneker) whose father Smart saved at a NATO conference five years previous: no longer the “freckle-faced kid” he remembers, she’s grown into a precocious, headstrong and beautiful young woman — and a potentially invaluable bargaining chip, should she fall into the hands of KAOS and its insidious ringleader, Mr. Big (Mark Rosier.)

With the civilized world on the precipice of chaos, can Agents 86 and 99 get control of the situation before it’s too late?

goodmovielogoThere’s much to be lauded in this HB Playhouse production of the classic comedy, and performances like Rosier’s and Valdez’s help make the show. The timing is a little loose at some points, and the dialogue may need a bit more projection (some patrons remarked it was a little  difficult to hear at points), but all in all, it’s a very solid production by a group obviously devoted to their work and the theater itself.

It’s a blast from the past that’s playing for another week in Huntington Beach, and worthwhile for audiences to get up close and personal with the motley characters in this classic spy spoof.

“Get Smart”, playing at the Huntington Beach Playhouse, 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, 92648 (between Goldenwest and Gothard) from Nov. 3-19. Tickets available online at http://www. huntingtonbeachplayhouse.com/ tickets or through the box office at 714-375-0696. Appropriate for all ages.

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