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Arts Club Theatre Company

Here on the Flight Path
By Norm Foster

Dates 26 January - 25 February 2006 Venue Arts Club Theatre, Granville Island Stage Reviewer Ed Farolan

Norm Foster is truly a superb writer comparable only to American comedy playwright Neil Simon. He understands human relations and develops characters with whom we can identify and certainly relate to. He just simply has a wonderful sense of humour.

Both actors, David Mackay and Jennifer Lines were just simply funny. If you hadn't read the program, you'd never believe that Lines played three different women (Faye, Angel, Gwen.) You'd be convinced that you'd seen three actresses, all of whom were completely different one from the other.

Mackay as John Cummings was outstanding. Critics have compared his timing to that of Bob Newhart, and indeed he got those punch lines right on time for laughs.

The play just kept the opening night audience in fits of laughter. Foster's humour resembles the long-playing Canadian TV comedy Royal Air Farce. There is nothing sacred in Foster's mind: he targets lawyers, country music, poets, Leonard Cohen, Barbra Streisand, Stephen Harper, bankers, theatre culture, male as well as female sexual insecurity, and so forth and so on.

In one scene, Angel, who has come to the big city to make it in musical theatre, can't act or sing and has failed after several auditions. So John consoles her with "So what if you can't sing -- there's always country music".

Gwen, the third tenant who was left by her husband, listens to Leonard Cohen "when I'm down." "Yeah," says John, "that'll pull you out of it."

Foster's dialogues are brilliant with humour, and the audience just laughed almsot continuously from the start to the end of the show.

The set design by Ted Roberts was excellent. Whether you sat at the side of the theatre or at the back, the sight lines were just perfect.

Kudos to director Rachel Ditor for a job well done.This is a must show for theatregoers who want to escape the daily routine of life, and a have a little fun and enjoyment watching a delightful comedy.

© 2006 Ed Farolan