Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay

Extreme Measures
Shelton Theater
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's review of Karen Mason at Feinstein's, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, The Most Happy Fella, Treasure Island, and The Untamed Stage and Patrick's reviews of My Fair Lady and King Lear

Megan Luis, John Ferreira, and Livia Demarchi
Photo by Green Le Fleur
Shelton Theater is presenting the world premiere production of Will Marchetti's hilarious farce Extreme Measures. This is a one hour and twenty minute fun-filled travesty that could be called "film noir Mel Brooks style" with a little Marx Brothers thrown in for good measure.

The crazy plot of Extreme Measures, such as it is, centers on private eye Swayde Barrigan (Matt Shelton) and his faithful secretary Pascha Crane (Livia Demarchi). It's just a day in the life of a "gum shoe," played in real time.

There are characters coming and going at rapid speed, including well-dressed Marrow and Megan, played somewhat straight by Colin Hussey and Megan Luis, at the beginning. Argin Pierce Brewster (John Ferreira), a wannabe actor who has come from playing in, of all places, Winnemucca, Nevada, mistakes the private detective office for that of a theatrical agent. This is one of the funniest bits, as the four member cast dons crazy outfits to recite Shakespeare's "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears."

Sexy Candy LaRue (Sonia Balcazar), dressed in a red dress and looking like Jessica Rabbit, arrives on the scene, and a very rotund gangster on the order of Edward G. Robinson, "Moose" Tringali (Matt Crawford), comes in and foreces the group to sing and dance "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." The seven-member cast beautifully overact in this piece.

Extreme Measures is boisterous film noir farce with a zany set of stock characters that make no sense; it's just damn good entertainment set in the 1940s.

Extreme Measures plays through May 15, 2016, at the Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter St, San Francisco. For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit Upcoming is Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire opening on June 9th.

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