“Funniest Broadway comedy in years” opening soon at Studio Theatre
In the early 1960s, little-known Canadian actor Bernard Slade was busy appearing in local stage productions at the Garden Centre Theatre in the small town of Vineland, Ontario. But his aspirations eventually grew beyond local theatre, and even beyond acting: at the age of 35 Bernard made the leap to Hollywood to become a screenwriter, and was soon writing for the classic television show Bewitched. Offered a chance to develop his own shows, he went on to create some of the most iconic sitcoms of the 60s and 70s, including Love on a Rooftop, The Flying Nun, Bridget Loves Bernie, and The Partridge Family. In 1975 Slade turned his hand to theatre, penning the phenomenally successful play Same Time Next Year, followed by Tribute (starring Jack Lemmon), and the hit Broadway show Romantic Comedy.
Which brings this story back to where it all began: local Ontario theatre.
Thursday, August 17, Perth’s own Studio Theatre premieres Bernard Slade’s triumphant theatrical confection Romantic Comedy, a show that was called the “Funniest comedy on Broadway in years” by WABC-TV, and “A darling of a play…with cool wit and warm sentiment” by the New York Post.
Romantic Comedy has stood the test of time, and it now provides a delightful evening of entertainment right here in Perth, brought to you by veteran director David Parry and his cast of fine local actors.
Romantic Comedy tells the story of arrogant, sharp tongued Jason Carmichael, a successful co-author of Broadway romantic comedies. As the play opens, Jason is facing two momentous events: he is hours away from marrying a society belle, and his long-time collaborator is retiring. Enter Phoebe Craddock, a somewhat mousy Vermont schoolteacher who happens to be a talented budding playwright, and also an adoring fan of Jason. Phoebe and Jason become collaborators, and for ten years nearly everything they touch turns to gold. But nothing this good lasts forever, and comic situations abound as Jason’s world falls apart, Phoebe discovers her inner chic, and, well, the rest is too funny to give away here. Suffice it to say that Bernard Slade, one of the best screenwriters ever, has done it again.
The Studio Theatre’s production of Romantic Comedy stars Hugh McCulloch as Jason Carmichael; Annie West as Phoebe; Lucas Tennant as newspaper reporter Leo Janowitz; Jennifer Jasiak as pushy Hollywood actress Kate Mallory; Shiela Jasiak as Blanche, Jason’s agent and a former showgirl; and Deb Ward as Alison, Jason’s soon-to-be wife. The show opens at the Studio Theatre on Thursday, August 17 for seven performances.
Tickets are $22 (cash only) at the Book Nook, 60 Gore St. E, (613-267- 2350), and $22 plus convenience fee at Shadowfax, 67 Foster St., (613-267- 6817; shadowfax.on.ca) and Tickets Please, in the Matheson House Museum Visitor Centre, 11 Gore St. E. (613 485-6434; ticketsplease.ca) both of which accept in-store, phone, online and credit card purchases.
Tickets are $24 at the door, and $10 at the door for students with ID. Attend opening night and save $5. And this summer the Studio Theatre is part of the Perth Passport program! As a Passport holder you can receive $5 off one ticket to each of our summer plays, Moon Over the Brewery (opening July 20) and Romantic Comedy, at the door only. (One ticket per Passport per play. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts. Visit studiotheatreperth.com for details and show dates.)
Add a little romance — and a little comedy — to your summer when Bernard Slade’s Romantic Comedy premieres at the Studio Theatre on August 17th at 7:30 pm. And remember that the Studio Theatre’s other summer production, Moon Over The Brewery, opens July 20th. Two great summer shows at one outstanding community theatre.
Article by Paul Joyce / Photo by Bruce Raby