Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Rooftop Productions Out of Order

By • Nov 6th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Out of Order by Ray Cooney
Rooftop Productions
Candy Factory, Manassas, VA
Through November 19th
2:00 with one intermission
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Reviewed November 4, 2011

Farce. It’s a really funny word. It instantly transports the person reading or hearing the word to another world where dead mean dance in kick lines and no one’s life is ever boring.

Out of Order by Ray Cooney, currently being performed by Rooftop Productions in Manassas, is a fun romp through London in the 1980’s. Richard Willey is Junior Government Minister and “lap dog” for Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party. As the play opens he’s carefully arranging a getaway with a pretty secretary from the House of Commons. He’s set the stage for romance, there’s only one problem – a dead body in the window. The story that ensues is very engaging and classic fun farce. There’s lots of door slamming, mistaken identities, and confusion that make it a treat to watch. Opening night seemed to be slightly hampered by several timing issues with a few actors and a few sound cue problems.

The timing was much more spot on by Act Two and the sound cue glitches were handled nicely by the actors. Overall, Out of Order proved to be a very funny tale that was well performed by its cast.

Bob Cohen led the cast as Richard Willey, the Junior Minister who was the mastermind of the evening’s plans. Mr. Cohen played Willey with a lusty Prince Charles feel that really connected well with the role showing just the right balance of British propriety and lust for life. Josh Bartosch played Willey’s Primary Parliamentary Secretary, George Pidgden. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Bartosh interacted well together however there were several times when timing seemed to be an issue. Bartosch really shone in the second act with some impressive bits of physical comedy mingled with romance. Nora Zanger’s potential romantic liaison Jane Worthington was very nervous, often distractingly so with lots of fluttering in place. Ian Wade’s portrayal of waiter Harold Cromwell was stellar. Every exchange he had with another character was always interesting with a measure of either bumble or scamp. Wade made impact from his first appearance where he didn’t even speak and continued to lead the comedy dynamic throughout the show. Darren Marquardt had the most difficult part playing the Body. His physical movements were so relaxed and weighted that he truly appeared to be a corpse. Mr. Marquardt’s performance was one of the high notes of the evening due to his commitment to physicality. The actor’s dialects ranged from fairly good to spotty and some actors seemed to make no attempt at all.

The set was designed to resemble a suite in The Westminster Hotel. The space was used very smartly to give actors the needed doors and window for their hijinks. The tasteful tapestry furniture gave the stage a feeling of tradition and warmth expected in an established London hotel. The main focal point of the stage is guillotine like window, which provided the backdrop for many comedic twists. However it did seem difficult for the ladies to climb out of as they were almost always in dresses and negligees. The door that was the entrance of the suite seemed to give a little trouble closing and staying closed. The costumes for the piece were very suitably executed. The wedding suit worn by the Body was a particular standout.

Out of Order is a quick-witted comedy, which was ultimately well executed and provides a happy escape into the world of politics. The world is currently so downtrodden with economics woes that a trip across the pond with a merry band of players is a most welcome reprieve.


  • Richard Willey: Bob Cohen
  • Manager: Joe Bersack
  • Waiter (Harold Cromwell): Ian Wade
  • Jane Worthington: Nora Zanger
  • Body: Darren Marquadt
  • George Pigden: Josh Bartosch
  • Maid: Sallie Willows
  • Ronnie Worthington: Chaz Pando
  • Pamela Willey: Carolyn Cameron
  • Nurse Gladys Foster: Debra Ovall


  • Director: Vincent Worthington
  • Costumer: Katherine Williamson
  • Prop Mistress/ Set Dresser: Patti Taylor
  • Set Designer: Vincent Worthington
  • Technical Advisor: DK Stewart
  • Sound Design: Dale Wash
  • Lighting Design: Jeben Marhsall
  • Stage Manager: Brooke Angel
  • Dialect Coach: Bob Cohen
  • Set Painting: Vincent Worthington, DK Stewart, Sarah Scott, Carolyn Cameron & Randy Chapman
  • Set Construction: Vincent Worthington, DK Stewart & Phil Caplinger
  • Stage Crew: Debra Ovall, Carolyn Cameron & Sallie Willows
  • Executive Producer: Anne Ridgway
  • Assistant to the Execituve Producer: Kim Love
  • Graphic Designer/Photographer: Louise Noakes

Disclaimer: Rooftop Productions provided three complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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is an actor, singer, director and writer. She is a relative newcomer to the DC theatrical community. Kari has been performing since she was a little girl in church and began seriously pursuing acting in high school. She is a graduate of Emory & Henry College with a degree in Theater. The favorite part of her theatrical training was her apprenticeship at Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia. While at Barter Theatre she was privileged to act on the Main Stage (Eleanor: An American Love Story) and with the Player Company (Frog Prince and Just So Stories Two). Kari is currently concentrating on returning to acting and assisting with drama at her church.

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