Charlotte Players is going all in with “Jack of Diamonds,” a timely comedy opening on Nov. 7 for nine performances through Nov. 17 at the Langdon Playhouse.
The silliness concerns Jack, a former jeweler who made his living buying and selling diamonds via late-night TV ads. He lives in a rather luxurious, privately owned retirement home along with his fellow residents, including the visually challenged techno-wizard Rose, the artistically gifted but forgetful Flora and the narcoleptic beauty Blanche.
Unbeknownst to the four of them, the man to whom they’ve entrusted their life savings — a smooth-talking financial advisor named Barney Effward — has been arrested for bilking his clients out of their savings through a Ponzi scheme.
Faced with financial ruin, the four suddenly find themselves confronting the author of their miserable fate when Effward is unexpectedly delivered among them … along with several million dollars in diamonds.
Pandemonium ensues as the four retirees try to find a way to exact their revenge, recoup their losses, and keep the authorities from discovering their plans.
Jenni Elliott is directing the comedy, written by Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes. The authors have collaborated on five plays, the first of which, “Who’s Under Where?” has been translated into six languages.
This is Elliott’s second directorial effort with the Charlotte Players, following last season’s hit “Jack Benny’s Not 39 Anymore.”
“I’m delighted to be invited to direct for Charlotte Players again,” she said. “I believe theater should be first and foremost entertainment, and I don’t think audiences will be disappointed with ‘Jack of Diamonds.’” An actor and director for years in her native Australia, Elliott has maintained both roles with the Charlotte Players, Lemon Bay Playhouse and Venice Theatre since arriving in Florida from Melbourne just six years ago. In Adelaide, South Australia, she worked alongside her father learning the directorial craft. She then graduated to directing on her own with two one-act plays that both won the Best Production Award at the Hills Drama Festival in Adelaide.
Next came full-length plays she directed, including “A Month of Sundays,” “The Bride and the Bachelor,” “Midsummer Mink” and “A Shot in the Dark.” She directed “Later Life” and “Looking” at the Lemon Bay Playhouse.
Performances on weekdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for students.