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OVERCOME WITH STRESS wife Mary Smith takes too many pills and passes out on the couch on top of her husband John Smith (Grant Stellflug), right, Detective Porterhouse (Sean Conley Widing), center, and John's friend Stanley Gardner (Chris Celestin). Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum


Double lives and wives cause trouble

By From page B2 | February 15, 2013

What: “Run For Your Wife”

Who: Imagination Theater

Where: 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, El Dorado County Fairgrounds

When: Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. to Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m. Visit for dates and times of all shows

Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 on opening night, plus on Thursdays, Feb. 21 and Feb. 28. Due to mild adult content, the show is recommended for adults 18 and over

Information: Imagination Theater at 530-642-0404, e-mail [email protected] or

Grant Stellflug is thrilled about his first lead role in Imagination Theater’s winter play “Run For Your Wife.”

“It’s an experience I’ve been waiting for a long time since I started doing theater,” said Stellflug. He has been acting since the mid-1990s. “It’s an opportunity and role that I think I can take a hold of. It’s been a lot of fun.”

The play is a madcap British farce featuring the story of mischievous London cab driver, John Smith, who has two wives, two lives and a tight schedule to keep.

Trouble brews when Smith is mugged and ends up in the hospital. When two addresses are discovered, the police investigate and Smith becomes hilariously entangled in his own hopeless attempts to explain himself.

The play is based on a 1983 British comedy adult play by Ray Cooney about Smith and his two wives Mary and Barbara who actually live near each other. Mary lives in Wimbledon and Barbara in Streatham.

Stellflug, 32, feels his character leads an ordinary life, but remains cool about his secret life of having two wives.

“He’s been able to keep it together,” said Stellflug.

The last thing John wants Mary and Barbara to know is that he is married to both after he has been mugged. After the mugging incident he has to become creative in keeping that secret from both women.

“I lie and make stuff up and bring other people into it and try to keep it under wraps,” Stellflug said. “He’s not really sneaky or shady. He loves both of his wives very much. He wants them equally.”



Jody Wills, 51, plays Mary, an advertising executive who is considered conservative.

“She can be construed as proper,” said Wills.

As the play continues, Wills explained, the lies from John cause Mary to fall apart.

“There are times that she just screams and cries,” Wills said.

Wills admits that as soon as she learned about the British play, she wanted to audition for one of the wives’ parts.

“This genre of British farce is one of my favorite to perform,” Wills said. “I’ve done other British farces before. I just love the fast pace of it. You’re trying to make the unbelievable believable.”

Wills likes another perk about the play — using a British accent.



Kathleen Mini plays Barbara Smith. Mini has been performing plays at Imagination Theater since 2005.

Mini describes Barbara as a “little wild” and someone who loves to have fun.

“She’s a little more flamboyant,” Mini said. “When her husband isn’t home, she likes to listen to music loud.”

Mini admits that’s it’s been fun re-living the 1980s that included big hair dos and women wearing dresses with shoulder pads.

“The 80s were big,” Mini said. “It’s fun to go back to those styles.”

The rest of the cast includes: Bobby Franklin (Richard Gaylord), Stanley Gardner (Chris Celestin), Det. Sergeant Troughton (Marc Bonham), Det. Sergeant Porterhouse (Sean Conley-Widing) and reporter (Gordon Prow).

“The cast is very hard-working, which I appreciate,” Mini said. “Everybody is thoughtful about their characters and other people’s characters. The cast has been amazing.”

Lanny Langston is the director of the play.

The play opens at Imagination Theater, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, on Friday, Feb. 15 and runs until Sunday, March 3.

Tickets for the play are $15 for adults. On opening night, Friday, Feb. 15, all tickets will be $12. Group tickets for 10 people or more is $12 each. Due to mild adult content, the show is recommended for 18 and over.

For more information on purchasing tickets contact the theater at 530-642-0404, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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