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Funky Little Theater Company caps season with Maid to Order 

click to enlarge CHRIS MEDINA/JUSTIN WEINZIERL
  • Chris Medina/Justin Weinzierl
Theater — good theater — walks the line between entertaining and thought-provoking. Sometimes, an audience settles in their seats with the expectation of enlightenment, to see a play that raises questions or presents moral quandaries. And still sometimes the world-weary just want a comedy, a couple hours of distraction from reality. Funky Little Theater Company straddles that line well, with season lineups that usually promise a healthy mix of funny and boundary-pushing, like this season’s Sylvia, a comedy about a man and his dog, and Extremities, which tackled the immense issue of sexual assault.

For the final show of their third season, Funky now presents a comedic romp with a hopefully refreshing lack of profundity, Maid to Order. When a college football coach mysteriously loses a trophy and a famous actor comes to deliver a speech to the school, mistaken identities abound. It’s a throwback to what artistic director Chris Medina calls the “screwball comedies” of the ’40s and ’50s. He says: “The language is safe. The plots are outlandish.”

It’s an odd choice for Funky, which usually seeks to present edgier theater, but Medina acknowledges that “edgy” often results in heavy themes, and this show seemed like a nice departure. “We are ending this season on a fun, silly note, to have that transition of energy and good juju. I think we’re in a good place right now.”

Maid to Order will segue into Funky’s fourth season, which Medina has dubbed “The Season of the Female Playwright.” While he cannot release too many details until the season announcement party (Sunday, Sept. 17, after the 4 p.m. Maid to Order matinée), he says the lineup for next year includes a majority of lighthearted plays, all written by women. They’ve got a world premiere planned, as well as work by two prolific contemporary female playwrights, some playwrights with ties to Colorado, and a “handful” of lesser-known playwrights, both new and historical.

There’s a risk, he says, in presenting a season of all female playwrights, because there are fewer recognizable titles (i.e. plays taught in high school English classes) — and theaters typically rely on those titles to draw a crowd. But even with the risk, he says it was important to the theater to showcase these voices. “I think it’s going to be a huge piece of our history, building our foundation of who we want to be.”

Maid to Order will set them up for season four’s opening production, which Medina describes as “mythical and romantic, but in a morbid way.” Now that feels a little more Funky.

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