By Don Church and Tony Schillaci
Celebrating 100 years of theater history, the Ivoryton Playhouse opens its 2011 season on April 13 with Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s farce How The Other Half Loves.
An ensemble company features Executive/Artistic Director/Actor Jacqui Hubbard as Fiona, and Company Manager/Actor Beverly Taylor as the wife of Bob who is having an affair with Fiona. These talented women not only keep the Ivoryton Playhouse vibrant and lively in the front of the house, but also are dazzling onstage.
Joining Jacqui Hubbard and Beverley Taylor on the boards is Nick Stevenson, Bill Kux, B. Brian Argotsinger and Alanna Wilson. The three latter actors are all members of Actors Equity.
How The Other Half Loves is one of Ayckbourn’s most madcap works, pitting three couples against time and space with a series of misunderstandings and hilarious consequences, unsuspecting dupes, guilty lovers and suspicious alibis.
Costume design for this production is by LisaMarie Harry. The unusual set design by Tony Andrea and lighting design by Doug Harry consists of two living rooms in separate houses that overlap on stage – allowing the audience to see and hear what’s happening miles apart and at different points in time -including a frantically hilarious scene with the hapless third couple as Thursday night dinner guests in one home and Friday night dinner guests in the other—with all of the action occurring on stage simultaneously. If that isn’t farce, what is?
Sir Alan Ayckbourn is the author of over 73 plays such as Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, Just Between Ourselves, Otherwise Engaged, A Chorus of Disapproval, and Woman in Mind. His plays have been translated into 35 languages and won numerous national and international awards including the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for The Norman Conquests. He is the long serving Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all of his plays have premiered before moving to the West End or Broadway.
How the Other Half Loves is directed by Larry Thelen who was last at the Ivoryton Playhouse for Driving Miss Daisy.
Ivoryton Playhouse is one of those rare theaters where audiences can still enjoy a “summer stock” feeling, while sitting in air-conditioned comfort experiencing plays, musicals and programs for the 21st century. Easily accessible from Hartford, Southeastern Connecticut, and even Fairfield County, these Examiner writers recommend that Ivoryton should be on every theater-lover’s “must do” list at least a few times a year.
How the Other Half Loves opens on April 13th and runs thru May 1st. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children. Call the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or visit the website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton, Connecticut.