Metro Theatre

Send Me No Flowers

When & Where Febr 3 - 24, 2024; evenings 8pm, Sunday matinees 2pm | Metro Theatre: 1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver

Director Emma Graveson Production Managers Joan Koebel & James Barclay Lighting Design Nate Kelly Sound Design James Barclay Costume Design Kassandra Sisson Scenic Carpenters Robin Richardson Rob Moser Props Michelle Roebuck Stage Manager Michelle Roebuck

Reviewer Christian Steckler

In a world exploding into regional wars fuelled by hate and greed, and threatening world peace, it is a welcome relief to visit, if only for an evening, a time and a set of problems of a simpler nature. Metro Theatre’s Send Me No Flowers is a holiday in laughter about misunderstandings and their consequences on a scale far removed from those rattling the world right now.

Emma Graveson’s masterful direction moves the action smoothly forward, keeping the audience engaged, at times chuckling, more often guffawing and laughing uproariously at the situations that unfold. Fine acting brings the clever writing and astute direction to life, and for that, all the performers in this show deserve high praise. Tracy Labrosse and Andrew Kenny are the Kimballs, a couple married about twenty-five years at the time of the play in the 1960s. George Kimball is a hypochondriac, patiently tended to by his wife, Judy. It is George’s obsession with his well-being that ignites and accelerates the action of this hilarious romp. Labrosse and Kenny are a convincing couple, amply showcasing their considerable experience in theatrical productions.

Ugo Nwachuku, a relative newcomer and welcome addition to the Vancouver theatrical community, is authentic in his portrayal of Bert Power, an easy-going past - perhaps romantic - interest of Judy’s, who has “made it” in life. James Barclay, as the Kimballs’ neighbour Arnold Nash, is meticulous in every move, and succeeds in the hilarity of his efforts to help his friend. Joan Koebel shines as Miss Akins, a character that complicates the plot, and is, ironically, a key to its resolution. Simon Ruddell is an amusingly realistic Dr. Ralph Morrissey, as worried that he is in the wrong branch of medicine as he is in his commitment to his patients. Joshua Sheridan as Vito, and Karina Frislev as Baby, both creations of worry and fantasy in the minds of George and Judy Kimball, are noteworthy in their memorable appearances.

The production team is to be congratulated. The set and props are colourful, stylish, historically fitting, and functional for the action of the performance. Sound and lighting are imaginative and spot-on, and costumes are great; some of Judy’s dresses are truly eye-catching!

Metro Theatre continues its tradition of high-quality production and professional standards of performance in this presentation of Send Me No Flowers. The laughter and appreciative noises of the audience’s reactions throughout the evening are testament to this reviewer’s enthusiastic recommendation that you see it.

© 2024 Christian Steckler