April 15 is approaching, and for those taxpayers who are feeling the pressure, the Little Theatre Off Broadway is offering a bit of comic relief.
The troupe's next production, "Love, Sex & the I.R.S." will premiere Friday, March 24, and run through April 9. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Showtimes for Thursday, March 30, and April 6 are 7:30 p.m. The theater is located at 3981 Broadway in Grove City.
The play tells the story of Jon and Leslie, two out-of-work musicians who room together in New York City. As a way to save money on his taxes, Jon has identified himself and Leslie as a married couple on his tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service notifies the "couple" that it is launching an investigation.
"It's a classic farce, so there's an awful lot going on," said director Mark Narens. "There's a lot of physical comedy, but at the same time, some really witty dialogue.
"If you're coming to the show, you should be ready to laugh," Narens said.
"Love, Sex & the I.R.S." is the fifth show Narens has directed for Little Theatre Off Broadway. He first joined the group as an actor.
"It's such a welcoming company," said Narens, who lives in the Grove City area. "I hadn't acted since I was in an elementary school operetta. I had the itch to get involved in theater and found the Little Theatre to be so supportive."
While he has participated in shows with other central Ohio theater groups, "this is my home theater," Narens said.
"I don't think 'family' is too strong a word" to describe Little Theatre Off Broadway, said Ashley Collins, a Dublin resident who plays Jon's fiancee, and Leslie's lover, in the show.
"It really is like a family," she said. "You see some people over and over who are in the shows and there's a great connection among us. At the same time, there are always new people coming on board who bring new energy and ideas."
"There are a lot of talented actors in the greater Columbus metro area," Narens said. "It's a great network of talent to draw upon."
Collins said she has performed with other central Ohio theater groups, but there is something special about the Little Theatre.
"It's been a part of the Grove City community for more than 50 years," she said. "The theater is in a great location right in the Town Center."
Collaboration is what makes theater so rewarding, Narens said.
"That's what I like most about it," he said. "I'm a collaborative director. I'm not dictating to the actors what they should be doing on stage. It's all about helping them to explore their characters. I want them to bring what they have to the show.
"You always want to be ready for the 'happy accidents' that occur," Narens said. "We had one scene in this show where there was supposed to be a 'trust fall' where one character ends up in the arms of another. It didn't work out, but we recognized that the lines were much funnier when they were spoken laying on the ground.
"You should always be willing to adapt and change your concept when you sense a better idea has emerged," he said.
Regular admission for shows is $15; $12 for seniors 60 years and older and $10 for students.
The Thursday shows are Thrifty Thursdays when all tickets are $10.
"Love, Sex & the I.R.S." is the fifth show of the troupe's current season.
The season will end with a production of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" May 5-21.
To make reservations or for more information, contact the theater at 614-875-3919 or visit ltob.org.