What happens when a pair of married and long struggling actors realize that their talent could be put to use in a much more lucrative way? Grab a seat for Norm Foster’s Self Help, at the Ottawa Little Theatre, and you’ll learn just how funny the answer to that question is.
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For full details including showtimes, visit the Ottawa Little Theatre’s website.
What did you think? Were you digging “The Savage Way”? How would you dispose of a dead, and naked, gardener? Tell us in the comments below.
For those who love the sweet smell of electronically printed words, here’s the review script:
Self Help opens showing us Hal and Cindy Savage at the lowest point in their acting careers. There, an idea is born and we then jump ahead eight years to where the couple has turned their art into a business and have become uber successful – and uber-rich – self help gurus. Sadly, the authors of The Savage Way are going through a rough patch in their marriage, which is the set-up for Hal catching Cindy in a compromising position with the gardener who, naked as the day he was born, dies on the spot, leaving Hal and Cindy to deal with both their marital issues and getting rid of the body of a man who – it turns out – is being sought by police. This is all set up in the first 20 minutes of the show and, as they say, hilarity ensues from there.
Dale MacEachern is a huge stand-out in the cast as Hal Savage. His facial expressions and physical comedy are just bang on, making it hard not to watch him constantly. Chantale Plante, as Cindy Savage also delivers a very good, though slightly less bold performance.
Both have a great capacity to let go and be just plain silly… which is what a farce like this requires.
Cindy Beaton is another stand-out as Bernice, the Savage’s newly employed, somewhat spacey, and quite nervous maid. She delivers solid laughs and also impresses with her sense of physical comedy and timing. Simply put, she is hilarious and I loved her!
Director Joan Sullivan Eady has done quite a job with her cast and staging. The pacing is tight and the laughs come quick and fast. So much so that the first hour will be over before you know it and leave you wondering where the time went. There were a few places that things could be a bit tighter to maximize that funny, but that only means that Self Help will get even funnier as the show runs on. Plus, Eady ensured to pepper the play with belly-laugh inducing sight gags and slapstick that I adored. Also. Shout out to Tom Pidgeon, Self Help’s set designer, for some exceptional work in that department.
Follow the Savage way and say Out With the Doubt – about seeing this play. Self Help runs at the Ottawa Little Theatre until April 10th.
Photo for this article taken for Production Ottawa by Production Ottawa photographer, David Pasho.
Video production courtesy of Valley Wind Productions, produced by Allan Mackey. Reviewed by Douglas Connors.