Review: One Man, Two Guvnors at B Street Theatre’s new Mainstage

B Street brings the whole family to its new stage with an “unapologetic farce”

Ready, set, slapstick!

Ready, set, slapstick!

Photo by Rudy Meyers Photography

Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 5pm & 9pm, Sun 2pm, Tue 6:30pm, Wed 2:30pm & 6:30pm. Through March 4; $27-$46; B Street Theatre’s Mainstage at Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, 2700 Capitol Ave; (916) 443-5300;
Rated 5.0

Last week saw the long-awaited, much-anticipated unveiling of B Street Theatre’s new Midtown multi-stage theater complex on Capitol Avenue, the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts (The Sofia), with the opening of the slapstick farce One Man, Two Guvnors.

When B Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Buck Busfield came out to greet the opening weekend audience, he received a warm reception from the loyal theatergoers who had already checked out the new, impressive 250-seat Mainstage Theater, lobby and bathrooms. Many of them have been following the new theater’s conception and progress for years.

Facing the audience, Busfield thanked everyone for their support, and then explained why he picked an over-the-top “unapologetic farce” to launch the new theater. “I wanted our first show to be fun, and to show off our new space and all our veteran cast members.”

And that’s just what Playwright Richard Bean’s modern-day adaption of The Servant of Two Masters brings to the new theater. The simple, silly plot of One Man, Two Guvnors is that an out-of-work London skiffle player finds himself working for two men at the same time, but must keep both employers in the dark about each other.

Hijinks ensue, complete with pratfalls, slammed doors, dropped pants, police chases, bird poop and hidden identities.

The new theater space gives B Street the freedom to expand its sets. And in Two Guvnors, they take full advantage of it—with large street scenes, rolling backdrops, rotating scenery and sliding panels. Two Guvnors is a perfect welcome for B Street’s new home.