Thomas (played by Rainn Wilson) is a wealthy British businessman who has organized an international resource political meeting. In addition to the business leaders visiting his house, he has also invited Jimmy (also played by Wilson), his doppelgänger and Rosie, a revolutionary posing as a maid. When Thomas accidentally poisons himself, Rosie convinces Jimmy to pretend to be Thomas in order to get her worker’s rights resolution passed. Hilarity and drama ensue.
There are a lot of laughs in this play. There are many instances of slapstick comedy as they try to hide Thomas’ body from the guests. There is also funny dialog such as when Jimmy says, “Haven’t I been acting funny?” One of the guests responds, “Well, comedy is so subjective.” But also, there are some very serious moments mixed in about conflict minerals, greed, and war. The jokes are the sugar to help this medicine go down.
Rainn Wilson is fantastic in this production. As Thomas, he plays it straight, which makes his performance as the goofy Jimmy all the more funny. His comedic chops which he honed on The Office are on full display. Celeste M. Cooper (previously at Steppenwolf in BLKS) is also fantastic as Rosie. She’s constantly running around the stage trying to keep up the whole ruse.
There are many similarities in this production to Steppenwolf’s production at the end of last year, The Minutes. They are both about politics, and the backroom deals underlying them. They are also both very funny and end with a big dramatic scene that leave the audience stunned. And lastly, they are both great examples of the world class fresh new productions for which this theatre is known.
Get tickets now for The Doppelgänger (an international farce) through May 27th!