Summer “Closer Than Ever” at Thousand Islands Playhouse

by Lorraine Payette, written May 25

(Gananoque, ON) “Well what do you know?
In front of me now is an open door…
One day the doors are locked and you’re sick of them.
Next day they’re yours and you have your pick of them.
Finding the proper key that’s the trick of them.
Every where another door…”
– “Doors”, Closer Than Ever, Richard Maltby, David Shire and Steven Scott Smith

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Show Shots by Jay Kopinski for TIP

The Thousand Islands Playhouse (TIP) started the 2015 season in high gear as “Closer Than Ever” exploded onto the stage on May 15.

“I’m thrilled to present this captivating musical to open our 2015 season,” said Ashlie Corcoran, artistic director for TIP.

Musical isn’t quite the right name for this show – but then, neither is anything else. Although there is no dialogue and the entire piece is done in song, it isn’t an opera. It isn’t really a play with a clearly defined plot. It isn’t really a revue. It isn’t, well, it isn’t like anything else with which an audience might be familiar.

Bright and upbeat, it features a string of sparkling musical performances by an amazing cast, all of whom are playing in Gananoque for the first time. A co-production with Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, BC, it walks the audience through all aspects of adult life and its many challenges, keeping it light while covering those things we all think and worry about every day.

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Rehearsal Shots by Lorraine Payette

Who is involved in that eternal love triangle? What are their motives? What secrets lurk in the mind of the mild-mannered real-estate agent? How hard is aging when you have a gym around the corner and “everyone” can come out buff and beautiful? What exactly is the science behind men and women?

These are only a few of the points pondered during the 110 minutes on-stage, and it’s impossible to get enough. The songs are witty and bright, the performances insightful and fun, the talent outstanding.

From a scat performance by Sharron Matthews to pumping up with Leon Willey, scientific contemplation with Patricia Zentilli to pensive moments with David Keeley, the energy on-stage never flags. Music is vibrant and visual, with instrumental artists Steven Greenfield and Paul Clifford taking their rightful places centre stage yet never detracting from the action going on around them.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Lois Creed, 90, of Dexter, NY. “The voices were wonderful, the dancing amazing. You could see it again and again and still have a wonderful time.”

“Closer Than Ever” runs from May 15 – June 13, 2014, at the Springer Theatre, 690 Charles Street South in Gananoque, Ontario. Running time for the play is 110 minutes. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday 8:00 pm, with matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm (starting the Wednesday after opening night). Tickets are $32 for adults, <30 Club $20, $30 for seniors age 65+, $16 for students. Half priced preview is May 16. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Group tickets are available at $26 – $28 each including GST. This show is recommended for people of all ages. For more information, please go to http://www.1000islandsplayhouse.com or contact the box office at 613-382-7020.

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