Playwright Paul Slade Smith’s Unnecessary Farce is a comedy about ... forget it, details of the plot are unnecessary. This raucous ride at North Coast Rep is about gags: slamming doors, jumping to conclusions, cartoonish pratfalls and various cast members in their underwear. Ridiculousness reigns. If Unnecessary Farce brings to mind the Solana Beach theater’s memorable 2011 production of Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me A Tenor, there are reasons for it. Matthew Wiener directed both, allowing his casts to go comically berserk. And the ensembles of both comedies featured, among others, Christopher M. Williams, Jacque Wilke, Jessica John and Ted Barton. While Unnecessary Farce, loosely having to do with a police stakeout in adjoining hotel rooms, registers a few decibels below Lend Me A Tenor on the laugh meter, it does showcase these fearlessly funny actors at their slapstick best. Wilke leads the way as a hapless cop with a squirt gun in her holster, with the vivacious John bringing to mind Natalie Wood in her deft comic turns. Most farcical of all, though, is David McBean as a bagpipe-toting Scottish hitman with a brogue to die for.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat