M.S. Duffey in his cloying, precious one-act for HalfwayHouse Theater Society strains for Wodehousian whimsy. A seminarian/wannabe economist joins forces with an economist/wannabe novelist at a house party: both have designs on their wealthy young hostess and tangled relationships with her late father (who apparently was not really her father). As directed by James E. Whittington, the performances are deliberately stilted and presentational, with the droll exception of Padraic Connelly as the mournfully understated economist. The work is billed as part of a “massive epic family melodrama farce,” but playwright Duffey lacks a firm handle on all these forms’ essential qualities. North theater, 7 PM.