Director of finesses Feydeau’s frantic French farce
verybody’s having a ball,” director Bruce Cathcart says about the cast of his latest production, Hotel Paradiso. “It’s great to see at rehearsals how much they enjoy it.”
Hotel Paradiso is a French bedroom farce by the master of the genre George Feydeau (with Maurice Desvallieres) and runs this week at the Boardmore Playhouse as part of the Cape Breton University Dramagroup’s 39th Season of Plays.
“Boniface plans a rendezvous with his neighbour’s wife at the Hotel Paradiso,” Cathcart explains. “But then all kinds of people that they know show up, and there are all kinds of mistaken identities before the police raid the hotel and arrest them all.”
Last year, Cathcart’s directed Fiddler On The Roof that packed the Boardmore Theatre with wildly appreciative audiences. Paradiso re-unites the director with many of Fiddler’s cast.
“ We have Josie Sobol, Jonathan Collins, David Hutchinson, and Carol Ann MacDougall,” Cathcart says. “As well as Scott Sharplin, Joanne Cantwell, Greg Woodford and Donna Martin.”
George MacKenzie charmed audiences with his dynamic performance as “Tevye” in Fiddler and leads the cast of 19 actors in Paradiso as the henpecked Boniface.
“We’ve been rehearsing once a week since October,” he explains. “Everybody is working to keep it moving, keep the cues quick, since farces need to be fast paced.
“The biggest challenge was how to accommodate two sets with six doors on one stage with no wing space, no fly loft,” Cathcart, who also the Boardmore’s resident set designer, says. “I think we accomplished it.”
Hotel Paradiso opens at the Boardmore on Tuesday at 7 p.m., with a pay-what-you-can/foodbank-donation performance. Its evening performances continue from Wednesday to Saturday, all at 7 p.m. Its final performance is Sunday, Feb., at 2 p.m.
Cathcart says the dramagroup has not made a final decision on next year’s musical production, but he would love to direct another one like Fiddler with big choruses and lots of kids.
And also on Tuesday, the second edition of Authors With Glasses Reading Series takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Governor’s Pub on the Esplanade in Sydney.
Host Wendy Martin of CBC Radio will emcee and short story writer Donna Troicuk (the forthcoming Loose Pearls and Other Stories) and novelist Susan Zettell ( The Check Out Girl) will read from their work. And there is also an open mic part of the program.