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Lyric’s California Suite wows audience

LYRIC Theatre’s comedy, California Suite, opened last Friday, March 16 with all four directors combining superbly to produce a cast with some fine performances.
Leongatha’s Mesley Hall was closed in cleverly to give the audience a more intimate connection with the set, which was a simple but effective room 203 containing a lounge and bedroom.
Appropriately the songs playing in the background were Dr Hook’s Sharing the Night Together and the Eagles’ hit song Hotel California, setting the mood for the opening act.
Neil Simon’s 1976 Broadway hit, California Suite, offers audiences a fine blend of variety and laughter, the spice of good comic productions, as was the case with Friday night’s audience.
Centred on the misadventures of four groups of guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel, California Suite is a series of playlets taking place in the same suite, but each with different characters coming together at a climactic point in their lives.
In Visitor from New York directed by Lyric’s Sue Lindsay, Hannah (Julie Strini), a magazine writer is joined by her ex-husband Billy (Chris Gale), the question being with whom should their daughter spend the next six months?
The badinage flies fast and furious but Hannah’s well-wrought artifice crumbles as her fears take hold. The Visitor from Philadelphia directed by Peter McAlpine is about a wife Millie (Kate Jackson) who arrives at the suite, catching her husband Marvin (Bruce Grainger) in a compromising position with a female visitor (Evy Nye).
Bruce steals the show here with his antics and timing with Kate doing well as the shocked wife. Visitors from London directed by Bernadette Grainger brings a British star as Academy Award nominee. Diana (Hadassah Wanstall) returns from the ceremony empty-handed to husband Sidney (Murray Maclean) whose homosexuality will be no comfort tonight. The Visitors from Chicago directed by Daniel Lawrie is about two couples ending a disastrous vacation they should not have shared.
Beth (Alison McIntyre), Gert (Laura Muranty), Mort (Laurie Martin) and Stu (Mike Street) trade accusations back and forth and bring the performance to a fitting, hilarious end!
Each scenario was interesting in its own way. All were funny and some had serious moments as well.
Despite each scene being quite short, the brief encounters with these characters does not at all deter the audience from being fully invested in the different scenarios.
The dialogue is sharp and always serves a purpose. The action jumps right off the stage and really does its best to engage the audience and best of all it’s a good laugh.
There will be four more performances remaining to see the show with shows at 8pm on Thursday, March 22, Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 as well as matinees at 2pm on Saturday, March 24. Tickets online at www.lyrictheatre.net.au or by phone 0490 525 482.

Full of fun: from left, director of Visitors from Philadelphia Peter McAlpine catches up at the opening with Sophie Cuttriss, Graeme O’Connor and Neil Warren.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24487

Posted by on Mar 20 2018. Filed under Arts & Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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