At first “Popcorn Falls,” written by James Hindman, promises to be a comic romp with a duo, veteran Broadway actors Adam Heller and Tom Souhrada, as gents cutting up in the tradition of vaudevillians. They rush in and out of the doors of the stage set, assume assorted town folk identities and create comic mayhem. Talented Christian Borle as director sets up a swift, madcap rhythm.
Ah, but how long can this creativity last? Soon all goes awry with a cockamamie plot that becomes serious, and eventually it gets to be looking-at-one’s-watch time to see how close we are to the end.
The setting is the small town of Popcorn Falls. Heller is the new mayor, Mr. Trundle. There is a financial crisis, and the only way Trundle can collect a check to solve the problem is by putting on a play, a task that must be accomplished in one week. The trouble is that there is no theater. Does that plot excite you?
The actors attempt to mine laughs out of the machinations they go through in order to save Popcorn Falls, but the screwy plot is a burden, with no reason for an audience to care about what happens. The rowdy humor at the start that was so promising has been eclipsed. At the Davenport Theater, 354 West 45th Street. Phone: 212-239-6200. Reviewed October 12, 2018.