by Anne Flanagan
This is farce at its most insane, most contrived, and most silly--yup it is perfectly hilarious and even includes murder!
Struggling artist Payne Showers finally gets his Big Break. He dies. Fortunately, Payne's death greatly inflates the value of his work. Unfortunately, his estranged wife, Maggie, must sell it all to avoid bankruptcy. Maggie and her high-strung gallery manager, Richard, host a private showing. The guests of honor are influential newspaper maven Judith Fontaine; the fabulously rich real estate mogul Mick Fitzgerald; Trent, a gorgeous but dim-witted soap opera actor; Graciela, a streetwise cocktail waitress; and Emma, a humorless art critic. To Maggie's delight, Mick Fitzgerald buys dozens of paintings. Not only will the deal rescue her financially, but Judith Fontaine is covering the story. The resulting publicity will put Maggie's gallery on the map!
At this point, the only thing that could go wrong would be if Payne Showers were to walk through the door. Then Payne Showers walks through the door. Artifice is a farcical take on celebrity and success and an affectionate tribute to loyalty and love.
"Artifice wastes no time immersing its audience in the world of egotistical artists, conniving dealers and vengeful wealthy patrons. It’s the perfect setting for intrigue … clever … witty … fun." -Bloomington HeraldTimesOnline.com