Wonderful one-man show of Wodehouse wit
''He looks like he was poured into his suit and forgot to say when.'' So says Bertie Wooster about a fellow clubsman in ''Jeeves Takes Charge,'' a delightfully daft one-man show at the Hasty Pudding Theatre, based on the comic novels of P. G. Wodehouse.
Zingers like this are sprung through the whole show. British actor Edward Duke, who conceived and adapted this romp through Wodehouse, has quite a time playing 12 characters. The man-about-town Bertie, with his great wheeze of a laugh, skips around getting into trouble. His impeccably correct valet, Jeeves, quietly gets him out. We also meet other beloved Wodehouse oddballs Gussie Fink-Nottle, the newt-lover; Edwin, the beastly Boy Scout; and the mastodon aunts, ''totally unfit for human consumption.''
''Jeeves'' is a gem of absolutely flawless British timing, inflection, and mannerisms. (It should be required viewing for all American actors seeking to play British roles.) Duke, nominated last year for a New York Drama Desk Award, is a master of subtle characterization, and he flashes between his various roles faster than animation.
It has garnered critical acclaim around the world and entertained the Queen Mother. A charming show without a serious bone in its body, it's so fun I hate even to suggest that two hours is perhaps a tad too long. Even for Wodehouse. Through Oct. 14.