From Norm Foster, Bedtime Stories is definitely not a play for the kids. It’s a collection of vignettes that share the sexy, funny, and touching moments that happen in our lives.
Bedtime Stories is a collection of 6 vignettes, all seperate scenes with new characters. While the three presented in the first act seem entirely disconnected, the second act brings these stories together. These vignettes are snapshots into relationships and events, all taking place in the bedroom, hence the title.
With comedy at the forefront this is an endearing play, with many sincere moments, and funny characters. Even though there are some far-fetched premises, and outlandish comedy setups, Bedtime Stories focuses on important moments in contemporary relationships. The opening scene, for example, features an stodgy middle aged couple who sign up for a sex romp on a radio show. Not exactly mundane. Their experienced relationship, however, ends up helping the radio DJ appreciate his own wife. These characters show the way we impact one another without even knowing it.
The downside of this anthology of vignettes is presenting the audience with an immediate comparison of the scenes. Norm Foster’s brand of comedy tends to walk the line of being distasteful, and most of the comedy for each scene relies on finding the inherent premise funny. The quality of the vignettes felt inconsistent, with some scenes leaning towards authentic moments, and others relying on contrived silliness. The level of entertainment does vary between scenes, but it is a comedy and there are plenty of jokes.
The collection vignettes also meant the cast the hefty task of performing a variety of roles. For these 5 actors, I admire their ability to differentiate the characters, especially when we began to see how they related to one another. Christopher Torti and Bill Milner were wonderful as a duo of unlikely burglars, and Erin McNamara gave a delightful performance as Sandy the accident-prone stripper. Both scenes were elevated by the actors who did a great job with scenarios that were otherwise quite predictable. Christopher Glen was perhaps the highlight of the show as Tommy Quick, a famous rocker who finds his star persona colliding with his boring home life when super-fan Melody, played by Tina Prud’homme, crashes his hotel room.
Set designer Patti Vopni showed an impressive set that transformed for each scene. The costumes, by designer Glynis Ellens, we also transformative, helping to bring the same 5 actors into 6 different scenarios. Accompanied by sound designer Bradford MacKinlay, and lighting designer Frank Donato, the technical aspects of this play were seamless.
Overall, this is a nice play for the summer season; a light concept with fun scenes to enjoy.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d like to hear what you think. Did you enjoy the comedy in Bedtime Stories? Which character was your favorite? Let me know what you think by joining the discussion in the comments below.
Bedtime Stories runs at the Ottawa Little Theatre now until August 1st.