Theatre Review by Paul Feist Photos By: Larry Carroll
The latest production at the Gravenhurst Opera House will have you smiling, laughing and wanting more. Kalamazoo, written by the team of Brooks and Younger is a fast-paced look at the life of two mature widowed people, now trying to find companionship, or more, in the complicated roiling sea of internet dating. Yes, it’s tough to find a peach in a lemon orchard. Irving, a Jew, meets Peg, a Catholic and the hilarious jousting begins. Masterfully played by the seasoned real-life husband and wife team of Brian Paul and Deborah Tennant, the characters work their way hilariously through first date jitters only to wake the next morning, not remembering what exactly happened. Their rocky road of romance is a trip filled with guilt, confusion and frustration, but always with a healthy dose of humour. While struggling with thoughts of betrayal to their dearly departed spouses, Irving and Peg must also deal with their respective children who think they know what’s best for the new couple. The uphill path to true love can be a slippery slope.
Cleverly directed by the brilliant, talented, Bala resident, Jeff Braunstein, the actors dance and cavort with wild abandon. The snappy dialogue and bang on delivery has us eagerly listening for the next laugh. The minimalist set moves us effortlessly from location to location. With Robin Clipsham stage-managing, set changes are quick and spirited, while production assistant Sarah Ruttan offers up some very entertaining moves of her own.
A very fun show that I will be sure to see again before it closes. Oh, if you are wondering what the title Kalamazoo means, you will just have to come and see for yourself. Guaranteed the older crowd will see something of themselves in the show, and the younger set will enjoy a comical look at what might be in their future. This is top notch theatre not to be missed.
Kalamazoo now playing at the Gravenhurst Opera House until September 27th. For more information and tickets visit www.thegravenhurstoperahouse.com or call 705-687-5550.