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Review: TJ Controls 'Get Smart'

With KAOS reigning supreme and everything turning against the secret agents in CONTROL, who knew a spy couldn’t even count on the Mets to lose a double-header? This delightful comedy and spoof supreme, 'Get Smart," was put on by Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on Saturday, Feb. 26: a farcical success from start to finish.

This play is based off of a TV series made in the late 1960s. Written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, this play is a parody, poking fun at the spy network in the U.S. Government. This series won seven Emmy awards, and is full of slapstick comedy, comical stereotypes, as well as some super-cool spy gadgets like the infamous shoe-phone.

Brad Wergley played the lead as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86), and his comedic expression and empathetic connection with the audience made him the star of this production. Ari Cukierman’s performance as the delicate villain Mr. Big looked effortless as he regally glided through his scenes. Also, upstanding as the Chief, Jeewon Kim’s timing was agreeable, true as well with pitiful and comical Agent 44, played by Stephen Reader.

The minor characters in this production were commendable too. Both the Scientist Hodgkins as played by David Blore, and Michaela Rothschild as Secretary Miss Finch were dead-on in their character portrayal, and fun to watch. The brief appearances by bodyguard Garth (Chris Peterson) and Agent 13 (Ben Oliver) were engaging and brought liveliness to the show.

The set design for Get Smart was innovative and appealing. The same goes for the props used; they were original, especially the main destructive weapon called “the Inferno” and the background to the exotic Fourtune Cookie Club. Although the wait for the scene changes was a little long, it was forgivable considering the undertaking of building a set of such magnitude and imagination.

Overall, the acting was strong and wonderfully believable, but was hindered by a sluggish pace in the beginning, as well as a few sound errors. This humorous production brought out the creativity and ingenuity Thomas Jefferson High school has to offer. All the elements of comedy were brought over and above par in this satire of spies. This message will self-destruct in 5…4…3…2…1… POW!

You can catch "Get Smart" when it performs for a second weekend, March 3-4 at 7:30 p.m.

(Cappies is a high school critics and awards program involving 50 schools in the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. areas.)