Grove City Record

Agents 86, 99 ready for 'Get Smart' at GCHS

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MARK DUBOVEC/THISWEEKNEWS
Tyler Straight as Maxwell Smart talks on the iconic shoe phone with Rebecca Lehman as his partner Agent 99 during the Grove City High School Drama Club's fall production of "Get Smart," an adaptation of the television series.
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The Cone of Silence won't be found in the Grove City Drama Club's current production, but the shoe phone will be seen.

For its 2013 fall production, the Grove City High School Drama Club will present an adaptation of Get Smart, adapted by Christopher Sergel from the original television show created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.

Like the television show, the play satirizes the secret agent genre, with bumbling Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, and his female partner Agent 99 working for CONTROL to thwart the international organization of evil KAOS, and the villain Mr. Big.

"It's actually based on the original pilot of the series," said show director Stefanie McConnell, English/drama instructor at Grove City High School.

That means no Cone of Silence which didn't appear until later in the series, but other elements and characters from the show, such as the shoe phone, the Chief and Agent 13, who appears in the form of a garbage can.

"We do have those wonderful moments," McConnell said. "It's a a real simple set. We're focusing o the acting and the comedy of the piece."

This production features Tyler Straight as Maxwell Smart, Rebecca Lehman as Agent 99, Matt Barr as Mr. Big and Emily Carter as Princess Ingrid of Scandinavia, the possible target for a kidnapping plot -- who Agents 86 and 99 are assigned to protect.

Straight said he had caught a few episodes of show before he was cast and went back to watch more after getting the part.

"I knew how (Smart) was a bit of doofus," he said.

Straight said he worked to model his voice after the distinctive way the original Maxwell Smart, Don Adams, spoke.

"That nasally, whiney voice," he said. "I change my voice a lot ... (and) I love the costume."

Lehman said she watched a few clips of the show on YouTube but was more familiar with the 2008 movie remake starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway.

"It's one of my family's favorites," she said. "I was super-excited to be Agent 99 ... This is the first comedy I've done since freshman year."

Last year, the drama club presented The Diary of Anne Frank as its fall production, but this year, the club went with something more light-hearted and comedic.

"I thought it would be a neat play for the kids to do and have fun with it," McConnell said. "Get Smart has a good name and a good reputation."

It also offered the chance to include more performers and crew members, she added. The show features 26 cast members and about 20 crew members.

"It has so many parts that we were able to get a bunch of kids involved," McConnell said.

Showtimes for Get Smart are 7 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15-17, at Grove City High School, 4665 Hoover Road.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for students and $5 for seniors and children under 5.

Advance sale tickets are available by emailing stefanie.mcconnell@swcs.us with the ticket information.

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