By Sam Mooney
Want to be entertained? Hay Fever, playing at the Alumnae Theatre will do so in grand style. Written in 1925, Hay Fever is Noel Coward at his funniest. The plot – and I use the term loosely – revolves around a family and their weekend house guests in the country.
It’s very funny. The set is a sweet re-creation of a country sitting room. Throughout the play there was a silk stocking hanging from the chandelier that no one seemed to notice. There was also a barometer that kept falling off the wall, – I think this was actually a prop issue – but it was still funny every time it happened.
Director Kevin John McDonald did an amazing job of directing a cast of 9, each of whom had a distinct and over the top persona. There were times when the main action involved 5 or 6 of them on one side of the stage while the rest of the cast were on the sidelines. Even on the sidelines, they were still acting.
The entire cast of Hay Fever was great. I can’t mention anyone without mentioning everyone. Dinah Watts played Judith Bliss, an over-the-top actress “of a certain age”, Hereward Pooley was David Bliss, her writer husband, Tamara Lubek was their daughter Sorel and Ken MacAlpine their son Simon. Anne Harper was Clara, the housekeeper who used to be Judith’s dresser. The guests were Leete Stetson (in his Toronto debut) as Sandy Tyrell, Tina Sterling as Myra Arundel, Jonathan Thomas as Richard Greatham, and Kaitlin Riordan as Jackie Coryton.
My show partner Elaine and I both laughed a lot and really enjoyed ourselves. Elaine’s favourite part was the play itself. I enjoyed the entire experience. The costumes, which included beautiful dresses and fabric, were gorgeous. Yum!
–Alumnae Theatre Toronto’s presentation of Hay Fever is playing until January 30th at the Alumnae Theatre, (70 Berkeley).
– Performances Wednesday to Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday matinee at 2 pm
– 2 for 1 Tickets on Wednesday evening. 2 people can see Hay Fever for the price of one ticket!!!
– Tickets are $20.00 and the Sunday matinee is PWYC
– floowing the Jan 24 matinee there will be a Talkback session with the cast and director
– Tickets are available at the box office, 416-364-4170 or email email@example.com. Cash only, no credit or debit cards.
Photograph of the cast of Hay Fever by Joshua Meles