Andy Mass as Hector and Andrea Myles-Hunkin as Carlita in the Freeport Players’ “Honestly, Now!” Photo courtesy of Freeport Players

The Freeport Players, now in their 33rd year, seem to like the type of main-stage plays that involve all sorts of deception as to who’s really who and what are they all really up to. Their past production of “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight,” for example, provided plenty of twists and turns, not to mention a few jolts.

The latest from the company, a play from 1981 by Jack Sharkey, sets a much lighter tone. But there were still surprises and laughs to be had on Sunday afternoon as a bunch of wacky characters, full of recognizable types from old movies and TV shows (with slightly dated attitudes to match), filled the stage at the Freeport Performing Arts Center.

“Honestly, Now!” is, alas, a trifle overwritten. The cast struggled a bit in the performance under review, especially in the early going. Squeezing out the extra dialogue required to bring the audience along on the show’s multiple subplots created an awkward challenge. But things got rolling after a while.

The play centers on Carlita and Hector, a mother and adult son team who work the hangouts of the wealthy (in this case, a French Riviera hotel), hoping to steal jewelry and whatever else isn’t tied down. They make an intriguing pair as they bicker but reveal a genuine affection for each other as the two-hour play moves along.

Andrea Myles-Hunkin and Andy Mass add color to those delightfully devious roles. Their characters’ well-delivered jibes and zingers (with occasional ad-libbing) added mightily to the fun.

The pair plan a party with the help of the unknowing but not completely innocent waiter Raoul and banquet manager Nadine. The party, they hope, will draw fellow hotel guests away from their rooms, which Hector, who’s been pretending to be a harmless simpleton, can then burglarize.


Jonas Werner offered a strong performance as the calm and collected waiter who’s more on top of things than the others realize. And Hali Fortin, as Nadine, reveals her opportunistic character as she slowly dips her toes into the deepening schemes of Carlita.

Enter visiting U.S. Senator Sam Clayton and his wife Marigold who, presumably, will add star power to Carlita’s guest list. Peter Nicoll becomes a laughable (and corruptible) blowhard of a senator. Spunky Nancy Kenneally stingingly scolds the big guy while her Marigold tries to enjoy an overseas getaway.

Also coming on board are Oscar and Holly Hemmings, apparently clueless farmers from Nebraska who’ve won a trip to the Riviera on a game show. Talking hayseed at first, Ian Smith later gets a chance to try out a caricatured French accent as the action picks up.

Director David Crowell spreads the three-act play across the sprawling stage set designed by David Wallace and Janet Lawrence. Costumes by Judy Lloyd and Crowell spice up the party scene and generally confirm the impression that this entertaining production is a labor of love for all concerned.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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