Red Barn Theatre features zany comedy to open season

The Four Percent


Red Barn Theatre artistic director Michael Taylor always enjoys directing a Michael Parker play for a few reasons.

The Frankfort venue will present Michael Parker’s “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” from June 9 to 20.

Taylor, who will direct the play, said Parker, who died in 2019, always called the director before the production of one of his plays began to wish him well and then sent a note after it started.

“I loved that. There are not playwrights that do that,” Taylor said.

The playwright’s wife Susan Parker, who also wrote plays with her husband, reached out to Taylor to let him know her husband had died.

“She wished us well and it looks she is going to continue that tradition,” said Taylor, a Frankfort High School theater teacher.

The plot centers on a California billionaire’s only child, Constance, who assumes she will inherit her late father’s estate. But she learns that is not the case, and an eccentric butler seems to be at the center of it.

Like many of his plays, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” is a farce.

“His stuff is very lighthearted,” Taylor said. “It’s great stuff for the summer. It’s the kind of show that if you had a bad day, you just want to relax and smile. That’s what this offers. All the shows this summer are light because I think the whole world needs it.”

The production is the first since the 2020 season was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taylor said actors enjoy playing the roles Parker writes.

“There are a lot of shows that are already set how to play the character,” Taylor said. “Michael Parker’s plays leave that up to interpretation, and that allows the actors to be creative and really make it their own.”

There is an ensemble cast of seven performers. Taylor said the butler, played by Sam Lynch, is the central character but not necessarily the lead character.

“There is a lot of physical comedy,” Taylor said. “It’s very silly. With any comedy, there is the fine line you have to walk to make sure it stays funny, and it doesn’t get so over the top. It’s more of a groan than a laugh.”

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays. For more, visit redbarntheatre.net.



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