Confederation Theatre’s Opening Night the perfect, post-plague play

Theatre critic Caroline Russell-King offers her patented Postcard Review of Confederation Theatre’s Opening Night, which brings laughter back into the house.

Show: Opening Night.

Playwright: Norm Foster.

Production company/theatre space: Confederation Theatre Society, Joyce Doolittle Theatre, Pumphouse Theatres.

Length: Two acts (105 minutes, with one intermission).

Genre: Comedy.

Premise: In this play within a play, two audience members become part of everything that goes wrong on opening night.

Why this play? Why now?: This is the perfect post-plague fare. This meta theatre reminds us of what we love (and hate) about live theatre.

Curiosities: I wondered if the set changes would get tighter over the run. The play was first performed in 1989 and I was curious to see if all of the references held up, and for the most part they do!

Notable Moment: The best part of the night was hearing laughter in the house again. The “surreptitious body rolling” probably was the pinnacle of this.

Notable writing: Norm Foster is the Canadian Comedy King.

Notable performances: While Amanda Cross gives us a strong rendition of Libby, the ditzy ingénue, the show belongs to beleaguered husband Ross Hart and the director of the show within the show, Luigino Savoia, whose years of experience shine through.

Notable design/production: The set design by Ray Mordon and Lan LeBoeuf puts up a bit of roadblock to an otherwise smooth performance. However, Lana Borrell’s costumes were delightful.

Notable direction: Ray Mordan who is also the president of the board of the theatre company chose and executed this romp with aplomb.

Opening Night runs at the Joyce Doolittle Theatre until Nov. 20.