He meant to do that

Bullshot Crummond and the Invisible Bride of Death

Bullshot Crummond and the Invisible Bride of Death; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday; $15. Green Valley Theatre Company at the Grange Performing Arts Center, 3823 V Street; (916) 736-2664; www.greenvalleytheatre.com. Through May 13.
Rated 4.0

James Bond and Maxwell Smart got nothing on ol’ Bullshot Crummond, the ballsy English hero who saves the royal jewels, foils a fiendish plot in Morocco and fights fantastic and invisible enemies at every corner all while having just been married.

This is the story of Bullshot Crummond and The Invisible Bride of Death, Ron House’s sequel to his original concept that parodied England’s famous spy Bulldog Drummond. The original had a decent lifespan of productions around the country and this world premiere of the second chapter proves to be a delightful evening of ridiculousness and melodrama. Green Valley Theatre produces and Christopher Cook directs.

Hugh “Bullshot” Crummond (Elio Gutierrez) has just married Rosemary Fenton (Carly Sisto), but is soon called back into action after the Teutonic Otto Von Bruno (Kevin Kirtlan) and his sexy mistress Lenya Von Bruno (Lindsay Grimes) steal the English crown jewels and escape to Northwestern Africa.

The plot is ridiculous, the characters two-dimensional and the script is just plain silly. This is melodrama at its finest, a series of slapstick encounters between overly dramatic characters that all thrive on discord and mayhem.

The five actors play a dozen characters in total, and, while each shines in their own right, major props (no pun intended) must be given to Ryan “Harpo” Harbert, who plays “All Other Characters.” Be it a French sergeant, an invisible scientist, an accordion player or an 8-foot tall ancient-Arabic speaking slave, Harbert commits all the way and the audience responds in kind—with guffaws.

With melodrama, timing is everything. Be it the cue for a specific light and sound that gives a dramatic “DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUH!” effect or the delivery of a sexual innuendo, tempo can make or break a production. While the majority of the show is tight and articulate, there are more than a few quick-paced sections that get muddled in missed timing.

Bullshot Crummond is an absolute delight to experience, and should be on the list for anyone seeking escapism, romance, intrigue, international spies, African civil conflict and good, honest British spunk. There are also lots of sex jokes for adults and well-executed slapstick for kids.