James Holden, TV star, is a busy man. He has just returned from his honeymoon with his 4th wife, or so he thinks. Turns out his first wife, Velvet, didn’t die in that avalanche five years ago after all. And his second wife, Phoebe, didn’t file the divorce papers correctly. And his third wife, Rita, didn’t sign the annulment. Rita’s current fiancé, Max, happens to be a mob boss and has decided to take the annulment into his own hands. Everyone has their own agenda as they make their way to James’s apartment. Max and his goons arrive and begin to take hostages as James is busy auditioning his sitcom wife and trying to manage his real wives. By the time everyone gathers in his now trashed apartment, James has to sort out four marriages, three gangsters, and cast the role of his TV wife, all while getting back the woman he has always loved. Approximately 85 minutes.
TONY HOWELL TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
ONE WIFE TOO MANY
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: The title "One Wife Too Many" came first. I thought it sounded like a great play, and started wondering what the play would be like. Velvet and Alicia came first...then Phoebe and finally Rita were added as complications. When the idea of James auditioning TV wives came to mind, the entire plot just fell into place.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I love the moment where James walks into the empty apartment and all 4 wives turn and look at him, and then he turns and walks out. If the actor playing James pauses for just a couple of seconds, and then turns and goes, it's a guaranteed huge laugh.
Q: TELL US ABOUT THE CHARACTERS.
A: For the play to work, I think James and Velvet have to be played as very real. Their affection has to come across strong so that the audience really roots for them. The rest of the characters are just fun and should be played that way. Mitzi, Monster, Phoebe, Max, Rita, Ebony, even the smaller characters like Ollie and Sidney are practically cartoons and should be played that way, and with lots of energy and enjoyment.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted the show to be fast-paced and entertaining. On that note, entrances and exits and cues all need to quick if the show is to get the frantic, snowballing effect that it should have.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: When it comes to casting, James and Velvet need to have real chemistry. If their connection comes across to the audience, then the rest of it will fall into place. Also, notice that Mitzi and Monster end the show. The roles may not look large, but actors with some good skills can make those parts bring the house down.