Excellent display of ensemble acting

The Hotel Play

Venue: Studio 58, Langara College, Vancouver

Date(s): March 21 - April 7, 2002

Reviewer: Jane Penistan

Wallace Shawn's The Hotel Play is set on a tropical island where anything and anyone may arrive. The set is colourfully stylized: exotic vegetation, sandy beach and unreal azure sea and sky, designed by Bryan Pollock. This is enough to get one wondering.

The one constant character among the multitude who appear at this holiday resort is the hotel clerk, played energetically by David Beazely. While doing his job trying to serve and satisfy the various strange guests, he has his own ways of getting his just or unjust rewards.

At break-neck speed, the day at the hotel moves from dawn (through three more crowded scenes) to the hour before the next dawn. This time span is peopled with caricatures of different types of tourists: demanding, pleasure-seeking, relaxing.

Some are fanatics, others health freaks, one or two seeking erotic experiences. There is guitar and percussion music, some well-recognized and some composed by Jeff McMahan and Becca Auerbach, played, sung and danced to onstage by the cast. Also notable are clever portrayals of children ingeniously dressed.

The lighting is suitably atmospheric, as are the sound effects.

This is a really excellent display of ensemble playing. The 21 actors succeed in bringing almost 50 different characters to life, even if this is in a not quite real world.

Congratulations to the director, cast and the sound lighting and effects departments in making such an exhilarating show.

2002, Jane Penistan

The Hotel Play runs at Studio 58, at Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue, Wednesday to Sunday at 8.00 p.m. Sunday matinee at 3.00 p.m. March 21 - April 7, 2002
Tickets Wed, Thurs, $13.00 general admission, $12 for students and seniors,
Fri and Sat. $14.00, and both shows on Sunday are 2 for 1, or $7.00 each.
For information and reservations call the Studio 58 Box Office at 604-323-5227.
Studio 58 is located in the basement of the Main Building, Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver.

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