Chris Weikel's charming homage to the works of Charles Dickens is suffused with a sense of fun.
The play is an homage to the novels of Charles Dickens and includes sly references to such works as Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. The story centers on the titular Penny Penniworth (Heinlein), whose childhood love Hotchkiss Spit (Borg) was forced to flee their small English hamlet after nearly killing the wealthy Rupert Stryfe (O'Connell). Her father's bad investments have rendered her penninless, forcing the girl to eke out a living as companion to Miss Havasnort (Reilly), who is perpetually in mourning due to the loss of her fiance many, many years ago.
The four versatile actors play several other roles, as well, freely transgressing gender lines, aided by the Victorianesque costumes by House of Goody, in which a cape easily turns into a skirt, and vice versa. They also all address the audience, narrating segments of the plot and maintaining a nice balance between awareness of the parts they're playing and inhabiting their roles -- many of which are comically exaggerated. For example, Borg's Hotchkiss speaks in a hilariously impenetrable brogue that sometimes has the audience -- and the other characters on stage -- wondering what he's just said, while O'Connell's turn as the clerk Mr. Pinchnose requires him to employ a bizarre (and not always consistent) speech impediment.