Review: Rover Dramwerks brings us another great comedy in TAKE THE COUCH

Take the Couch

By Connie Schindewolf
Directed by Glynda Welch
Produced by Rover Dramawerks

Reviewed by David Ellivloc

Like a classic 70’s sitcom Rover Dramawerks’ production of Take the Couch is full of folks who are truly characters in every sense of the word! The plot is simple and simply fun, “Can two wannabe empty nesters rekindle romance and rediscover the thrill of empty nest bliss?”. 

Making us root for their success every hard-fought inch of the way is Russell Sims and Laura Sosnowski as Steve and Natalie, a long married and loving couple who have just dropped off their youngest at college.  The music at the top of the show will give you a clue as to exactly the priority for Sims’ Steve. Sims and Sosnowski have great rapport and palpable frustration as life throws up roadblocks on the road to romance.

Ruth Hale as Martha, Steve’s mom, is the quintessential "high-maintenance-thinks-she’s-low maintenance" mother/mother-in-law.  Hale’s performance is rock solid, and the rock is made of comedy gold.  The interplay between Hale, Sims and Sosnowski is delightful.

McKenna Curtis plays the ironically named Joy, the middle child, with a winning whining and wheedling intensity.  Joshua Hires is the oldest child, stepbrother Greg, in the “yours, mine, and ours” dysfunctional family that Steve and Natalie have created.  Hires imbues Greg with an amiable affability that charms.  You know he’s an accident waiting to happen but we’re on his side, just like his recent bride and baby momma, Cassidy Wiedman’s SarahHires and Wiedman convince as a couple who’ve walked on the wild side and have made it through to the other side, embracing each other and their shortcomings, as well as the baby.

And what’s a farce without a Las Vegas adult entertainer and a funny beat cop?  Well, it’s some other show, because here we have Christina Hollie’s Peaches, who comes on like gangbusters for great comic turn.  Adding zest throughout is Andra Laine Hunter whose Officer Carrie aspires to be more of a Dirty Harriet in the mold of Clint Eastwood but seems destined to be a female Barney Fife.

There are also two amazing animal performers in this show.  Mickey, Director Glynda Welch’s diminutive pooch is Snippet while Hunter’s Morse play Bark.  Both dogs are beautiful thespians!

Set Designer Charles Welch‘s minimalist set is a perfect place for our players to play.  Lighting Designer Kenneth Hall and Sound Designer Robbi D. Holman both hit the mark.  Set Manager Paula Raven keeps things moving with swift changes, minimizing the lulls in the action than can kill the comedy if set changes are slow and tedious.  Fight Choreographer Sean M. Lewis has staged some marvelous mayhem that is fast, furious, and believable.  Hands down, and fists up, the best stage fight I’ve seen in some time.  Director Glynda Welch tells her story well and shines as the Costume Designer as well (e.g., Hale’s Martha looks increasingly like an unmade bed of a broad with every scene).

Now, get up off your couch and go see Take the Couch at the Cox Theatre in Plano.

Running Time:  Approximately 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission.
Accessible seating: Available
Hearing Devices Available: Not Available
Sensory Friendly Showing: Not Available
ASL Showing: Not Available
Audience Rating: PG-13 for adult situations and language.
Production Sound Level: Comfortable
Noises and Visuals to Know About: Several gunshots.