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'See How They Run' at Nutz-n-Boltz

British comedy kicks off company's 10th season


CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Kim Berger, on couch, and Justin Lazenby rehearse a scene in 'See How They Run,' which debuts Oct. 9.  Tracey Grant has been practicing her Cockney accent in order to play the role of Ida, a maid in the British comedy “See How They Run.”

The Milwaukie resident says she’s watching YouTube videos of Cockney speakers as well as repeatedly watching “My Fair Lady” to get the London accent down.

“Sometimes it comes out a little Australian or Southern, but I stop myself,” she says with a laugh, adding she’s pretty sure she’ll nail the distinctive speech pattern by the time “See How They Run” debuts on the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company stage this Friday, Oct. 9.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9-25, at the Boring-Damascus Grange Hall, 27861 Grange St., Boring. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors and students, and you can learn more at nnbtheater.com.

The Philip King play centers around a sleepy British village during World War II and its vicar, the Rev. Lionel Toop, whose American wife, Penelope Toop, scandalously wears pants and was once a theater actress.

The town busybody, Miss Skillon, gets drunk, her nemesis Ida falls in love with a soldier houseguest of the vicar, a bishop is coming to visit and there is an escaped Russian convict on the loose.

By the end of the show, more than a few people have disguised themselves as vicars, much to the consternation of authorities looking for the convict.

Grant says Ida is fiercely loyal to her boss, the “heart of the house” and “kind of the glue that holds the family together” in “See How They Run.”

“I think she’s got a lot going on in her brain,” Grant says. “She’s got some spunk.”

The production also marks the beginning of Nutz-n-Boltz 10th season, notes Kelly Lazenby, who runs Nutz-n-Boltz with her husband, Justin.

“We said we will keep doing this until people stopped coming to our shows, and they’re still coming,” Lazenby says with a chuckle.

Justin adds that the Nutz-n-Boltz stage features improved lighting this year.

“The lights are no longer on ugly looking wooden lighting trees, they’re on lighting bars hooked to the ceiling,” he says.

“We can focus the lighting a lot better now, and the lighting trees are no longer there to get in the way of any audience member’s view,” Kelly says.

Confusion creates comedy

Justin Lazenby plays the vicar in “See How They Run” and says he embodies all that is strait-laced and conservative in the English village.

“He’s always the one trying to keep things peaceful and proper and in its place, but try as he may things never go quite that way,” Justin says.

He adds that the audience should enjoy the contrast between the more reserved English villagers and the “Hollywood” Americans in the production.

Gresham resident Jim Butterfield makes his Nutz-n-Boltz debut playing Bishop Humphrey of Lax. Like Justin Lazenby, Butterfield says the comedy is filled with zany moments.

“He comes in to an already wacky situation and never really understands what is going on,” Butterfield says of his character. “The play moves quickly with lots of mistaken identity and comic situations based on incomplete information.”

Grant adds that although the play is set in the 1940s, even younger folks should enjoy “See How They Run.”

“My 11 year old has seen some rehearsals and she laughs and gets it,” Grant says.