by Lorraine Payette, written August 12, 2015
“Maggie left me the house…”
– “Bed and Breakfast”, Mark Crawford
Get ready for warmth and familiarity, laughs and thoughtful moments as you face the trials and tribulations of running a B&B in small town Ontario. Leaving Toronto for the more peaceful atmosphere of a tiny tourist town, Brett (Andrew Kushnir) and Drew (Paul Dunn) lead us through the experience of having a dream come true when they inherit a house and turn it into a bed and breakfast.
In “Bed and Breakfast” we encounter two actors playing 34 characters in a type of theatre called voco max where they switch rapidly between characters, changing postures, voice, actions and expressions to portray each new individual as he or she enters the scene. The audience uses their imaginations to define the appearance of each character, to flesh them out and create a more personal experience.
We know the people in this play – from the bored teenager to the pushy father, annoying friends and family members dripping in appropriate emotion when they really couldn’t care less. We meet them every day, and their presence makes it all much more intimate, more real.
Fans of the Playhouse production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will remember Andrew as the ADHD Leaf, always inquisitive, always exploring his environment, filled with life and energy. In his portrayal of multiple characters in “Bed and Breakfast” we see the same drive, the same energy, but expressed in new ways as he makes each personality come alive.
Pal Dunn is new to the Playhouse, and brings an impressive résumé with him, working in film and television as well as on the legitimate stage. While his approach in rehearsal seems deep and intense, this is his way of developing believable characters who whisk us into their lives and make us feel completely at home.
The play was written and developed under the auspices of the Playwrights’ Unit, with a reading at the Pride in the Thousand Islands event in Gananoque in June of 2014. Ashlie Corcoran, artistic director for the Playhouse, liked what she saw and asked playwright Mark Crawford if she could add it to this year’s line up. The result was pure magic, moving beyond clean sheets and haute cuisine to a warm, loving experience with people we can love, hate and truly care about.
“Bed and Breakfast” will welcome you in, serve you up an evening of good hearted fun, and leave you coming back for more than just that mint on the pillow. The show will be running at the Firehall Theatre in Gananoque from August 14 – September 13. Running time is approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes including intermission. Talkback Tuesdays are every Tuesday evening following the performance. Show times are Tuesday through Sunday 8:00 pm, with matinees Friday and Saturday 2:30 pm. Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors age 65+, $20 for <30 Club, $16 for students. Half price August 14 preview and all Sunday evenings. Perimeter seating is $27 and group tickets are available at $26 – $28 each. 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.