By Alan Smithee

A crabby old man, two beautiful young lovers, the Festival of Pan, and … a bucket? What do these things have to do with each other?

Well, they’re all key parts of The Grouch, currently playing at Wallman Theatre through April 27, 2013.

Directed and adapted by theatre professor Jeffrey Ingman, this Greek Comedy is loaded with sight gags, disco dancing, kung fu fighting, and laughs galore. Men playing women? Check. Women playing men? Check. Masks, colorful costumes, playful sets, joyful music, and festive lighting come together to complete this feast for the eyes, ears, and funnybone.

During a festival for the god Pan (Craig Birkmeyer), things can get a little crazy. And get crazy they do. Handsome Sostratos (James Wilson) falls in love with beautiful Filomena (Meri Titus), but her father is the terrifying grouch Knemon (Kurtis Dennison). Sostratos conspires with Filomena’s half-brother Gorgias (Rennes Carbaugh) and his servant Daos (Tyler Johnson) to win Filomena’s love and gain her father’s blessing.

Whirling together a dizzying mix of theatrical styles, Ingman has created a roller coaster ride of hilarious proportions. Commedia dell’Arte, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the Three Stooges, and a little bit of Bruce Lee are all packed into this 90-minute evening of laughs. How do they come together? Seamlessly. The world of The Grouch is delightfully cartoonish – a little silly, a little raunchy, and a whole lot of fun.

What will Sostratos do for love? Does he win Filomena’s heart? Does Knemon give his blessing to a marriage? Do the citizens of Phyle party down for Pan? Come to Wallman Theatre April 25, 26, and 27 at 7:30 PM to find out. There are only a few nights left – don’t miss your chance!  Tickets may be purchased at the box office or online at www.fairmontstate.edu/tickets.  Fairmont and Pierpont student are admitted for free.