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'I Take This Man' pokes fun at finding Mr. Right

Gresham Little Theater play runs Oct. 20-29 at Knova


What if you were a woman who longed for Mr. Right and then found Mr. Right There?CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - From top left: Ella Nelson-Mahon, Ray Pierott, Holly Miller and Heidi Miller, as well Tyler Shilstone, on the couch, make up the cast of 'I Take This Man,' Gresham Little Theater's latest production. The play opens Oct. 20.

That’s the premise of “I Take This Man,” a farcical comedy by Jack Sharkey that challenges the meaning of the expression “finders, keepers.”

A woman named Giddy finds an unconscious man on the sidewalk during the Boston Marathon and decides to help him by asking a police officer to help her take her “husband” home. Giddy’s reasoning for her Good Samaritan act is hilariously convincing, but you’ll have to see Gresham Little Theater’s production to find out just how far her deception will go.

The local troupe presents “I Take This Man” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Oct. 20-22; Thursday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 29, at Knova Learning Center, 740 S.E. 182 Ave. Tickets are $8, $5 for students and seniors. For more information, visit greshamlittletheater.com.

Giddy up

Beaverton resident Ella Nelson-Mahon plays Gideon “Giddy” Hollis, “a young woman who has been unsuccessful in love so far so she has a bit of a skewed view of relationships.” Nelson-Mahon adds that Giddy sets her sights on her unconscious paramour because he finished last in the marathon, and since nice guys finish last, he must be Mr. Right.

“The most challenging and also the most enjoyable thing about this character is figuring out all of her complexities,” Nelson-Mahon says. “I didn’t want to play her as just delusional or dumb. There’s more to her than is apparent on the surface.”

Gresham resident Heidi Miller plays Police Officer Judy Keegan, whose naive outlook parallels Giddy’s.

“My character is so willing to see the good in everyone,” Miller says. “She’s almost unwilling to see that there’s something going on.”

Miller’s sister Holly Miller plays the nurse Charlene Lockwood, who is engaged to Dexter Clayton and living with Giddy.

“She thinks what Giddy is up to is absolutely absurd and is worried that they’re both going to be going to jail, but she ends up embracing that fact and just drinking the worry away,” Holly says. “I think part of her secretly wants to see how far all of this can go.”

Holly adds that it’s fun playing a character with so many seemingly contradictory impulses.

“She’s rational and tries to point out all the ways Giddy’s plan won’t work, but then she’s also willing to help her friend with her scheme instead of blowing Giddy’s cover.”

On a more practical level, she says, playing Lockwood offers a particular test of her skills.

“It’s interesting pretending to be drunk when you’re absolutely sober!”

Crowd pleaser

All three actors agree that “I Take This Man” is nonstop laughs.

“I think the audiences will enjoy how lighthearted and quick-paced the show is,” Nelson-Mahon says.

“There’s a lot of moments where you’re just marveling at how Giddy could do what she did, but then there’s also a very sweet moment in the second act,” Holly adds. “You end up rooting for Giddy and her outrageous plan.” 

“This play is ridiculous,” Miller says. “I think people will enjoy coming to it, and have a lot of fun.”