Katz isn’t so enthusiastic, with worried girlfriend Shirley (Carolyn Magoon) back in New York and dominatrix-type Hildret Heinz (Bobbi Kotula) pursuing him fervently for some of his flesh. A plot to uncover the writing team as American spies by Soviet military man Sergei Schmearnov (John Dewar) might just force all of their hands, however.
Iron Curtain invites inevitable comparisons to The Producers, with the central relationship between Katz and Finkel looking a lot like the one between Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom. The shows also share penchants for outrageous accents, cultural stereotypes and theater in-jokes, but Iron Curtain does maintain a distinguishable comic sensibility that’s more broadly silly.
Wolfe is sublimely exasperated as the put-upon Katz, and his withering cynicism laced with a healthy current of desperation hits comic pay dirt over and over. A pitch-perfect line reading about his cousin being a good dancer almost stopped the show in its tracks at Thursday’s opening night performance, with the audience unable to compose themselves from laughter for what seemed like a solid minute.
Kotula also breaks out of a role that could be a little one-note as the sadomasochistic theater director with an enthusiastic embrace of every pun found in her lines. DeSantis’ giddiness and Magoon’s aw, schucks optimism also flesh out their characters with finely tuned details.
Iron Curtain is pure musical theater enjoyment, and it doesn’t attempt to be anything more than it is. Rousingly executed by Village Theatre, this is farce firing on all cylinders.
The show runs through April 24 at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah and then moves to the Village’s Everett location from April 29 to May 22. Tickets range from $19 to $60 and are available for purchase at the Village Theatre’s website.