‘Building Madness’ builds laughter at Grove Theater Center in Burbank

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Review by John K. Adams

If you love those great old screwball comedies from Hollywood’s Golden Era of the 1930s, you will love Building Madness, the new play from award-winning author, Kate Danely, at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank.

Featuring a picture perfect cast performing in the sophisticated style and rapid-fire word play of those classic films and seeing it all done live is a treat. The plot is straight-forward fun, and what author Danely does with it is rich.

The playboy owner of a failing architecture company, Max (Colin Simon), discovers he has been “played” by a mob mama, Ruby (Sarah Lilly), while securing financing for construction of a police retirement home for an old flame, Gwen (Alexandra Wright).

Max’s partner/designer Paul (Sean Faye), competes for Gwen’s affections while redirecting Max’s focus toward the business.

Their ditzy secretary Trixie (Kate Danely) is the Mother of all Screwballs. While chasing Max and being wooed by gangster Vito (Matt Jayson), Trixie inadvertently saves the day with no clue of the problem or how she eventually averts catastrophe.

Everyone gets their share of clever lines and physical comedy. The ensemble plays together like the pros they are.

Ovation Award nominee, Leonard Ogden designed the sets and costumes. Lighting and sound is by Ovation nominee, David Darwin. GTC Artistic Director (and award winner), Kevin Cochran directed.

The playwright, Kate Danley, is an award-winning novelist and member of the Dramatist Guild.

“Building Madness” plays through February 14th at the Grove Theater Center located at 1111 W. Olive Ave. in Burbank. Call (818) 528-6622 or visit GTC.org for more information.

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