“I’m telling you, this isn’t over until the fat lady sings,” says a frantic David McGachen (Perry Mucci), at a moment in this comedy when absolutely everything is crashing down around his ears.
“As far as I’m concerned, the orchestra is playing and the fat lady is up on her feet with her mouth open..” his beleaguered partner John Baker (Garfield Andrews) shoots back.
And this is just one of the apparently unending crisis moments in Upper Canada Playhouse’s season opener, the mad farce, Whose Wives Are They, Anyway? playing at the theatre until June 30.
Penned by Michael Parker, author of Hotbed Hotel, The Sensuous Senator, and The Amorous Ambassador, all of which won rave reviews when they were performed at the Playhouse, this current production is just as witty, just as fast paced and just as howlingly funny. “This is a classic farce,” said director Donnie Bowes, “with a tightly written plot, clever dialogue and a wonderful cast that works very fast throughout the production.”
It is actually rather difficult to describe the plot of this show.
There is one.
However, it twists and turns and loops around on itself and the characters so often, that you feel you’ve wandered into a kind of literary labyrinth. But that’s half the fun! How could otherwise reasonably normal characters get into these absurd predicaments, and just how can they possibly get themselves back out?
John Baker and David McGachen just want a weekend of golf at the stately Oakfield Golf and Country Club before assuming new jobs with the Ashley-Maureen Cosmetics Company, under formidable take-over boss D. L. Hutchison (Mary Ellis). (“What’s the D.L. stand for?” David finally asks. “Dragon Lady, I should think,” John replies.) Their wives, Karly (Viviana Zarrillo) and Laura (Erin MacKinnon) are supposedly off for a New York shopping trip. Everyone is happy.
What could be more innocent?
What could go wrong?
In this play, just about everything.
Wilson the Club handyman (Bruce Tubbe), who suffers from a bad back, a bad spleen, carbunkles, arthritis, chronic hip joint displacement, a hernia, flat feet…(I lost track here), swiftly introduces massive comic confusion into the plot as he tries to “fix things”. Mrs. Carlson, the manager, (Brenda Quesnel), whose Puritanical suspicions would do credit to the Inquisition, is stalking the hallways. And Tina (Kate Gordon) an otherwise rational, pleasant desk clerk, unfortunately falls foul of champagne, and loses her inhibitions along with large chunks of her costume.
Misconceptions and mixed up identities abound. When John plaintively exclaims “Am I me, my sister, your wife or my own mother?” the audience is as hysterical as the characters.
Did I mention that none of the phones at the Club work properly and that Laura and Karly unexpectedly appear just in time to…
With Whose Wives Are They, Anyway? audiences should just sit back, take it all in, and get ready to laugh loudly, long and often.
The production runs at Upper Canada Playhouse until June 30. For information and tickets contact 613-543-3713, 1-877-550-3650 or go on line at www.uppercanadaplayhouse.com.