Iowa City - Combined Efforts' summer shows would not be what they are without the beautiful location that is the Country Camp, a small farm at the edge of Iowa City that is an ideal setting for promenade theatre. Nature blessed the company of Trubblesume Tymes at the Faire with a beautiful breezy night tonight, not too hot and not too cold, the perfect weather to appreciate a nice night in the country with the fun set pieces that make up Tymes. Equally important are the people themselves; at Combined Efforts everyone is included, and this cast has a very warm feeling, welcoming the crowd in, singing and making jokes, brimming with the fun of performing. The people and the place combine to make Tymes something halfway between community theatre and a local Renaissance Fair.
The piece runs less than an hour, and is very active as scenes switch between locations and we meet the various zany characters of the Faire. You'll meet, for example, the cantankerous Queen (Britte Garrett), her put-upon consort (Derek Johnson), an amusing Town Crier (Bob Shaffer, who has a real knack for comic timing), a trio of clowning washerwomen, and a quintet of "Little Men" (stalked around by Sarah Bender as Shakespeare, trying to steal their puppet plays). Tymes, directed by Jason Grubbe and Janet Story Schlapkohl, is full of humor and whimsy, and is performed well by this energetic cast of players.
Not only are there comic set-pieces, but there is plenty of music (traditional numbers and original pastiches), action (a very lively and hilarious joust), and a great big wedding dance (spoilers!) at the end. So head on down to the farm and enjoy a relaxing night out with Trubblesume Tymes at the Faire.
Trubblesume Tymes at the Faire plays again tomorrow night at The Country Camp, 3418 Osage St SW in Iowa City. More information here.