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'Camping with Henry & Tom' is a good tale


Last updated 2/27/2018 at 6:08pm

John Howard

Henry Ford (Francis Gercke) smashes into a boulder while driving President Harding (Manny Fernandes) and Thomas Edison (Robert Smyth) to their camp ground.

For an enlightened outing into the woods – consider spending a few hours "Camping with Henry and Tom".

Sprinkled throughout with humorous political-in-correctness, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding, flee the watchful eyes of the President's secret service detail.

While in the past these annual camping expeditions only included Edison and Ford, this particular July, Ford extended a personal invitation to Harding, the current President without letting, the now cranky, 74-year-old Edison know about the added guest.

Trying to amend and restore their oneness with nature, the campers conspire to elude Harding's secret service detail by sabotaging the electrical system of his motorcade. Unfortunately, while a good idea at the time, in the eyes of Colonial Starling, his security task force leader, their premeditated flight was viewed as "kidnapping the President".

To add to the lunacy of the ill planned escape was the untimely appearance of a deer crossing the road at the very same time, driving at break neck speed, our three runaways were hightailing it around a curve. And as it would happen, when the deer inopportunely sprung into their headlights, it subsequently caused Ford to whack into its rump, which caused him to swerve into a boulder along the side of the road.

Consequently, this impaired their getaway when the impact of the crash broke the block in Ford's 1921 Model T Ford which left the three un-injured gents stranded deep in the Maryland woods.

As all good tales unfold, this too rolls along as these three miscreants, now stranded along a remote roadside with an incapacitated deer, are saddled with trying to fend off hunger, wild animals and the encroaching moonless night.

John Howard

Fending off the night noises, Henry Ford (Francis Gercke) alerting Thomas Edison (Robert Smyth) left and President Harding (Manny Fernandes) right of impending danger as they peer down the road.

A two-act play directed by Deborah Gilmour Smyth steers these four troublemakers into the forest with a wink and a smile. Henry Ford is deftly played by Francis Gercke. Robert Smyth is Thomas Edison. Manny Fernandes, always a favorite to watch, inhabits Warren G. And as everyone knows "there are no small parts, only small actors", Jordan Miller accepts his minor role portraying a distinguished military commander with the same integrity as his comrades.

For a good time, just slip over the arched bridge above the San Diego bay onto Coronado Island to go "Camping with Henry & Tom".

Now playing up to eight performances weekly, there will be plenty of opportunities to see this delightful season opener at the Lamb's Players Theatre before March 25.

The Lamb's Player Theatre, 1142 Orange Avenue, Coronado. The Box Office can be reached at (619) 437-6000 or


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