Well folks, St. Albert Theatre Troupe has ramped it up a notch or two as evidenced by their latest bedroom romp, a goldmine of rippling titters and belly laughs.
On the surface Norm Foster’s Bedroom Stories is a hilarious quest for love. All the characters search for it, whether they’re a loving mature couple, a dying man or a couple of thieves on a heist.
But peel away the top layers of the farcical situations, and underneath is revealed simmering passions, regret, impulsiveness, caution, pain and acceptance. And that’s just the first act.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a heavy show. In fact, the dinner theatre production now playing at Kinsmen Korral tonight, May 3 through 5 and May 10 through 12 is pure froth packaged with a good helping of innuendo.
Director Kate Elliott guides her cast through a sextet of separate bedroom comedies, snapshots of people’s lives where all the characters are somehow intertwined. Although the humour is off-the-wall, such as when 50-year-old Lou tells his wife, “I do foreplay. You just don’t notice,” the serious undertones are full of wide-ranging emotion.
Some of the best zingers are delivered in the first scene with the flannel wearing Betsy (Rachel Cheechoo) and Lou (Allan Grant). Even before they spoke a word, the audience was chuckling at Lou’s over-the-top Bill Clinton wig.
Eddie Nighthawk, a bottom feeder shock jock, has just offered this loving couple $5,000 to have sex on radio. And it quickly becomes apparent they never really expected to find themselves in such a situation.
The second story, the most poignant one, is of Derek (Mark McGarrigle), a dying man visited by Susan (Elliott), a self-centred woman he had a crush on in high school. Although McGarrigle normally plays loud, bombastic characters, Derek was a gentle, subdued performance that touched the audience and showcased his range.
McGarrigle also plays a 52-year-old Tommy Quick, an over-the-hill rock star wearing white KISS makeup, a shoulder-length black wig, and boots with mile-high soles. It’s worth the price of admission just to see him hobble onstage with the boots.
His problem is that Melodie (Andrea McHenry), a sassy 19-year-old groupie, accosts him in the bedroom and wants to have a sex-fuelled night. He wants to slide off his girdle and rest.
As Tommy puts it, “52 plus 19 equals creepy.” But it’s also a confirmation that what was once delightfully risquĂ© in youth, yields caution in middle age.
And you can’t help but feel for the accident-prone stripper Sandy (Rhonda Kozuska) holding an ice pack up her thigh She grinds it out, but without any rhythm she looks like a Raggedy Ann going into shock therapy.
Although the yarns are true-to-life, Foster never makes the audience work too hard, and the comedy in Bedroom Stories is a seamless fit for a dinner theatre experience.
St. Albert Theatre Troupe
Running April 28, May 3 to 5 and May 10 to 12
Tickets: $45, includes buffet. Visit www.stalberttheatre.com