Martin Burke stars in One Man, Two Guv’nors, on stage in the Topfer Theatre from June 1- 26, 2016 directed by Abe Reynold, ZACH Theatre’s Associate Artistic Producer.
The play is a Tony Award-winning modern take on Goldoni’s classic play A Servant of Two Masters. It’s the Swingin’ Sixties and the easily-confused Francis Henshall attempts to keep his two employers (local gangster Roscoe Crabbe and upper class criminal Stanley Stubbers) from meeting and learning of his dual-employment.
Martin Burke is hilarious as Francis Henshall, in this charming and only slightly risqué tale of an unemployed ne’er-do-well who suddenly finds himself at the beck and call of two employers. As he scrambles to serve two masters, witty ribald repartee is scattered like buckshot as Francis creates an accomplice of the entire audience.
The music provided by the musicians in “The Craze,” who played hits of the ’60s while patrons frequented the open bar on the stage, set the tone of the evening before any of the shenanigans started with the actors during One Man, Two Guv’nors. The band, which assembled only a short time ago, has already received offers to gig independently of the play. The reason is the cohesion of the gifted musicians; Luke Linstead as lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Roger Mason as the bassist, Eric Gutierrez as lead guitar and Zachary Yaneza as the drummer.
“The lads,” (see what I did there) prepared for the play with four intense weeks of rehearsals 5 or 6 nights a week, and are doing exactly what they were told to do: have a great time rockin’. Roger, the Bassist, actually toured as the trash percussionist with Grammy winning rock band Skeleton Key, composed music for Nickelodeon, and produced four albums in Brazil. Roger doubles down at the ZACH Theatre as a scenic artist and painted much of the set for the play. He warned me not to judge his British accent too harshly (as my mother is from Liverpool, England) but actually – his accent was quite good.
The Craze Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar Luke Linstead, a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where he received a B.A. in Theatre and Dance, is no stranger to the stage. Most recently he was seen in Theo Ubique’s production of RENT (Ensemble/Roger US), The Hypocrite’s production of American Idiot (Johnny), and ZACH Theater’s productions of Peter and the Starcatcher (Prentiss) and A Christmas Carol (Ensemble).
The Craze Drummer Zachary Yanez is also a recent graduate from DePaul University with a degree in Jazz Studies. He has extensive training in classical percussion having studied with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Lyric Opera. He currently teaches percussion students through the Austin Independent School District as well as maintaining a private drum set studio. One Man, Two Guv’nors is his second show with ZACH having played drums for Evita in 2015.
Newcomer Eric Gutierrez was the first one who auditioned for the part of lead guitar and the only one the band wanted after they heard him blister through his tryout. He moved to Austin after completing a masters in music composition from Texas State University. He teaches at Lonestar School of Music and plays with the Prog Rock Austin band The Aaron Clift Experiment.
Kudos to the band and witty cast of One Man, Two Guv’nors for making me laugh out loud many times. The cast are: Martin Burke as Francis Henshall, Amy Downing as Rachel Crabbe, Michael Stuart as Charlie Clench, Michael Miller as Gareth, Rick Smith as Harry Dangle, Victor Steele as Lloyd Boating, Madison Weinhoffer as Pauline Clench, Tyler Jones as Stanley Stubber, Amber Quick as Dolly and Toby Minor as Alfie, Andre Martina as Allen Dangle.