With five productions lined up for the year, Howick Little Theatre’s 2019 opening offering is California Suite, written in 1976 by the prolific American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon.
It comprises a set of four stories, all set in Suites 203-04 of The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
The opening playlet, Visitor from New York, is about a divorced Manhattan couple who meet up to discuss their teenaged daughter who has left her mother to live with her successful screenwriter father in LA. The bickering couple are forced to decide what living arrangements are best for their girl.
In the second, Visitors from Philadelphia, a Jewish husband awakens to discover a drunken prostitute in his bed. With his wife en route to join him in LA, he’s faced with the dilemma of hiding all traces of his uncharacteristic indiscretion.
The Visitors from London features a first-time Academy Award nominee English actress Diana Nichol and her husband, Sidney. She is in deep denial about the true nature of her marriage of convenience, and while preparing for her moment in the spotlight, her mood fluctuates between hope, panic and despair.
And finally, in Visitors from Chicago, while two affluent best-friend couples are on a much-needed vacation, an injury to one of them during a mixed doubles tennis match compromises their friendship. This creates an entertaining ending to a quartet of almost-farcical comedies.
Director Mary Gray has assembled a brilliant cast of both new and experienced performers to kick off yet another splendid season of plays at your community theatre.