Wa-Hi stages comedy ‘Get Smart’

Agents hiding in trash cans are par for the course in "Get Smart," as Agent 86 (Cougar Henderson) uses his state-of-the-art shoe phone to communicate with Agent 44 (Brennan Adams, in background). Listening in is Agent 99 (Alena Janice). (Andy Porter photo) (Nov. 1, 2012)

Agents hiding in trash cans are par for the course in "Get Smart," as Agent 86 (Cougar Henderson) uses his state-of-the-art shoe phone to communicate with Agent 44 (Brennan Adams, in background). Listening in is Agent 99 (Alena Janice). (Andy Porter photo) (Nov. 1, 2012) Photo by Andy Porter.

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WALLA WALLA — Take two secret organizations (one good, one evil). Mix in a stalwart (but dimwitted) secret agent, a princess in peril and a weapon of mass destruction and what do you get?

You get “Get Smart.”

The spy satire will take the stage at Walla Walla High School starting tonight with performances through next week.

Adopted from the first four episodes of the 1960s television comedy conceived by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, the onstage action follows the efforts of CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) as he attempts to thwart the nefarious plans of “Mr. Big” (Nick Brittain), who is working for KAOS.

Doing a Cold War-era spy spoof is a departure from productions the Wa-Hi Drama Department has been staging recently, said producer Brian Senter.

“It’s a funny show, and it’s light-hearted,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of serious stuff and this is a change of pace for us.”

Wa-Hi senior Cougar Henderson said taking on the role of Agent 86 is also a new direction for him.

“This is the first straight comedy I’ve done,” he said, as he helped set up the stage for rehearsal last week.

He said the hardest part of playing his character is that “Max doesn’t get the jokes. It’s tough to play dumb.”

Although he’s seen a few episodes of the original TV series, Henderson said he has no intention of trying to duplicate the character played by Don Adams, the original Agent 86.

Henderson’s Maxwell Smart will be his interpretation of the role, not someone else’s.

However, one of Maxwell’s signature gadgets would still be cool to have today, Henderson said.

“The concept of a shoe phone is something I would love to have in real life,” he said, with a smile.

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