What: Lend Me a Tenor
When: April 21-22, 8 p.m.
Where: MY Millennium Place
Sitting at a theatre in Gibsons, B.C. for the Driftwood Players’ production of Lend Me a Tenor, Whistler arts activist John Hewson was reminded of his favourite Italian playwright Dario Fo’s Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, which ran for years in London’s theatre district.
Hewson, an avid theatre goer, was won over by the show’s energy and ridicule that had audiences gasping for breath in between bellows of laughter.
Hewson’s reaction to the London show paralleled his sentiments for Lend Me a Tenor, which is coming to Whistler Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.
"The show was excellent," Hewson said of the Driftwood production. "It reminded me of the West End of London productions of some of the my favourite farces… (Lend Me a Tenor) is a classic farce, good, funny, very well delivered, well rehearsed and worth every cent of the more than reasonable ticket price."
Hewson was so impressed with the sold-out performance three weeks ago, he invited the established community theatre group of 30 years to perform in Whistler. He hopes the theatre relationship between communities will continue to grow and the towns will exchange productions.
"I see an opportunity to build some regular ties with local theatre groups in the area, where their productions come to us and we send ours out to them," Hewson said.
"We have strong talent here in amateur dramatics and we should be exporting some of that talent to other interested communities in the region. Working together we achieve more. It’s simple: help each other and flourish."
The sentiments apply to making a strong theatre community. However, none of it applies to the making of a good farce where nothing flourishes in the positive, just the proliferation of hilarious disasters and failed backstage manoeuvrings.
The Broadway opener Lend Me a Tenor follows farcical suit with energetic comedy coming to life by mixing up celebrity worship, mistaken identities, double-entendres, amorous interludes and, of course, lots of door slamming.
"It’s the unexpected," said Driftwood Players member Marcia Forst of what makes farce so well loved. "The play is one unexpected thing after another. It builds up to frantic craziness."
The troupe has enjoyed a sold-out run at home and looks forward to the opportunity of forging a relationship with Whistler’s theatre scene.
So make time during the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival chaos to catch this polished performance to ensure future theatre-exchanges.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children/seniors/students.