Reviewer: Ross Pink
Award winning Canadian playwright Maureen Robinson deftly turned her pen to comedy with wonderful results in Murder On The Ok Y-Knot Health Ranch, presented at the 2002 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
The play is reminiscent of the sophisticated Nick and Nora ( played by William Powell and Myrna Loy ) comedy films of the 1930s and 1940s which featured witty and fast paced repartee. Robinson is up to the pace with clever dialogue that is entertaining and numerous amusing exchanges between the main characters.
The dialogue is never forced , it goes down smooth , like a treasured 15 year old single malt scotch. The cast features the Andrea Martin look-a-like Nimet Kanji,brilliant in the role of Queen Midol,the clever and wise cracking gum shoe detective who takes on the case of a husband who suspects his wife is having an affair.
The trail leads to the Health Ranch where Midol can track the unsuspecting wife and follow her every movement. What Midol discovers is a crime greater than adultery as murders start erupting like prairie fires in July. The entertaining romp is enlivened by a talented cast of characters including David (Russ Brummer ) the beefcake gym instructor with an eye for the ladies, Pam, ( Connie Pickett) his female counterpart who takes bitchiness to new heights and a trio of middle-aged ladies who are determined to defy age and gravity with one last visit to the Health Ranch.
Cayle Brooke, who provided a running narration is outstanding. Her opening song was pure vocal beauty. This is a lady that can sing! Hopefully she will share this gift more often with Vancouver audiences. Theatre audiences never lie;they tell it like it is. Clearly, Robinson has produced a hit. Murder On The Ok Y-Knot Health Ranch is fast paced, witty comedy at its best.
© 2002 Ross Pink
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