Classic Norm Foster comedy: Bedtime Stories at the Upper Canada Playhouse

The cast of ‘Bedtime Stories’ in rehearsal. Back, Sweeney MacArthur and Alan Cooke. Front, Perry Mucci, Alison MacKay and Susan Greenfield.

MORRISBURG – This promises to be a show filled with wonderful characters and delightful dialogue, all wrapped up in the wit and wisdom of one of Canada’s greatest playwrights, Norm Foster. Foster’s hilarious comedy, ‘Bedtime Stories’, is coming to Upper Canada Playhouse July 4 – July 28. It’s a show you won’t want to miss.

Audiences loved the opening production of the 2024 Playhouse season, ‘Perfect Wedding’, and ‘Bedtime Stories’ promises more laughs and some very memorable characters in this new show, directed by Donnie Bowes. Foster’s play revolves around 15 different characters, and is set in six different bedrooms. Yet, in this wonderful rollercoaster of a comedy, these characters will all, somehow, turn out to be connected. And what interesting characters they are. A middle-aged couple offered $5,000 for a live radio show: a lady visiting an ailing acquaintance to settle old scores: two dumb-witted burglars: a rock star who finds a young fan in his room after a concert: two fairly hapless movers dealing with a bitter wife: and a strip club owner trying to hire a dancer – who has absolutely no dance skills.

Only Foster could take such a collection of characters and create “a side-splitting comedy” that has delighted audiences everywhere it has played. As Bowes points out, “Norm Foster loves his characters, and he always creates people that we can identify with. Then he puts then into situations that real people might actually face. The different scenarios in this play simply lead to hilarity.”

And to portray these wonderful 15 characters is a versatile, talented cast of five outstanding actors. Given that they will be switching roles and ages throughout the play, Bowes has assembled a group of strong performers, who have all, at one time or another, been in other Playhouse productions. (“It’s a bit like old home week around here,” Bowes laughed) When asked how all the performers deal with playing multiple roles in ‘Bedtime Stories,’ actor Sweeney MacArthur grinned and explained, “The only time we have trouble keeping our characters straight is in real life.” All the cast members of ‘Bedtime Stories’ have strong connections to Morrisburg’s Playhouse.

MacArthur, who recently starred in Johnny Reid’s musical ‘Maggie’ at the Charlottetown Festival has appeared at the Playhouse in ‘Wally’s Cafe,’ ‘Ethan Claymore’s Christmas’ and ‘The Foursome.’ Susan Greenfield is also returning. Audiences will remember her from such productions as ‘Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak,’ ‘Wally’s Cafe’ and ‘Lend Me A Tenor.’ Alison MacKay made her first Playhouse appearance in ‘Steel Magnolias,’ and returned to the stage in ‘Come Down From Up River’ and ‘One Slight Hitch.’ Alan Cooke has appeared in the Playhouse’s ‘There’s a Burglar in My Bed’, ‘One Slight Hitch’ and 2023’s ‘Who’s Under Where.’ Perry Mucci will also be a familiar face: he appeared in ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner,’ ‘The Sensuous Senator’ and ‘Whose Wives are They Anyway.’ With such a strong and gifted cast, audiences can expect to fall in love with some very memorable and comic characters.

A script which is set in six different rooms calls for a dynamic and versatile set. Sean Free, technical director for the Playhouse, has created such a set just for this production. And with each cast member playing at least two to three separate characters, the costumes by Alex Amini are all unique and distinctive. Director Bowes did admit, that at times, backstage in this production “is going to be a bit hectic. But that will just add to the fun for the audience.”

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news in your community by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.

Subscribe to Email Alerts

Enter your email address to subscribe to Email Alerts and receive notifications of new posts by email whenever The Leader publishes new content on our website.