The 2012 Season at King's Wharf Theatre is off to a lively start with a blockbuster musical finishing on the Mainstage, and now the facility gets ready to tempt audiences with MURDER AT FERN RESORT. This screwball suspense comedy is sure to leave you dying with laughter. This hilarious production with an obvious local twist entertains for three weeks only, now through July 14th.
All's fair in love – and murder – in his side-splitting comedy about three self-centered dopes trying to dupe each other in a love triangle gone mad. Arlene, a ditzy wife, Paul, her car salesman husband, and Mitchell, their buffoon dentist are at the centre of the mayhem as each character takes a turn at murder, depending on the day.
"This production is packed with physical comedy, silliness, and witty one-liners," says Artistic Director Alex Mustakas. "Murder at Fern Resort is the perfect choice for these hot and hazy days of summer."
Set against the backdrop of an inconspicuous hotel room at Penetanguishine's popular Fern Resort this twisted ode to the fickle nature of love transpires over the course of three separate holidays: Christmas, Canada Day and New Year's Eve. Its many twists and turns will keep you in stitches as relationships deteriorate, allegiances divide, and schemes escalate to absurdity. Will anyone actually get murdered, or will connubial bliss reign supreme? Whatever happens, this deliciously clever romp will leave you screaming bloody murder by the time the curtain falls on the final witty line.
Murder at Fern Resort features a harebrained script that evolves into highly entertaining comedy under the direction of Bob Lohrmann who keeps the timing moving along at a rapid fire pace and gives his performers plenty of stumbles, double-takes and other shenanigans to make for a laugh-out-loud comedy. Lohrmann is masterful at helping the cast create pivotal comic moments.
Susie Burnett is perfectly smitten and confused as Arlene Miller, the capricious wife caught between her doting husband and dashing dentist. It is quickly apparent to the audience that her character is a dim bulb who can't decide who she wants to be with, which astonishingly leads Arlene to thoughts of murder. Burnett delivers the goods as this kooky off-balance woman and obtains many laughs along the way.
Lee MacDougall is terrifically amusing as Paul, the car salesman Arlene wants to divorce one minute and is madly in love with the next. Paul is bewildered by the chaos that's happening around him and a particular moment that finds him on the verge of a heart attack doesn't end the way you think, leading the audience into gales of laughter.
Nigel Hamer is well cast as Dr. Mitchell Lovell, a skirt-chasing dentist with an ache for murder. Hamer is very funny while seducing Arlene and plotting against Paul. His antics are wicked yet hysterical. Audiences get a real kick out of his outlandish attire and crazed moments that land him on the hotel window ledge half-dressed and limping around the hotel room after a misdirected shot of Novocain.
Costume Designer Jessica Bray's outfits are at once visually stimulating and decidedly comic. Using bold colours, Bray captures a delightful 1970s feel for this production.
The Set and Lighting design by Jeff Johnston Collins make the most of this cheeky play, which all takes place in a hotel room. The stereotypical décor is suitably charming and multiple hideaways provide unique places for characters to elude each other.
"Murder at Fern Resort is a light-hearted look at the foibles of love and lust, and the sometimes blurry line between," says Mustakas.
Murder at Fern Resort is proudly sponsored by Fern Resort. Media sponsors are B101 and Orillia Today. The Design Sponsor is Midland Tours Inc.
Murder at Fern Resort plays for a limited three week engagement with eight weekly performances through July 14th. Tickets can be purchased by calling the King's Wharf Theatre Box Office at (705) 549-5555 or toll free at 1-855-372-9866. Order online at www.kingswharftheatre.com.
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