♪ They’re creepy and they’re cooky; mysterious & spooky… they’re altogether ‘ooky’ . The Addams Family theme kept running through my mind as we met the occupants of the Tomb clan’s residence. Six offspring of a recently-departed patriarch plus Dad’s longtime legal retainer awaiting one more beneficiary and the much-anticipated ‘reading of the Will’. A basement-caged werewolf; a poison-ess; a gourmand; a psychopathic Julius Caesar; a nympho sister; a ‘Frau Blücher’ maid and the requisite pretty nurse… generic cast of a comedic mystery.
Theatre Etobicoke and director Randy Bridge bring Norman Robbins “A TOMB WITH A VIEW” to the stage in a somewhat longish interpretation with an overly-extended denouement by the assassin that begins to drag. There are also some major blocking errors and recitations to the wings rather than across the footlights. There are also some missed cues plus a few twisted moments of dialogue. All these aside; ‘la Famille Tomb’ and their guests are hilarious.
No. 1 son is Lucien and Alex Bodnar reads him with just the right amount of arrogance and superiority. Brother Marcus (Hannad Afzal) in his toga recites soliloquies from the Shakespeare play without ever saying “Cry Havoc and let loose the Dogs of War”. Anticipating this famous eulogy – to no avail– is delightful theatre. Continually munching away on apples, Cathy O’Toole displays an outstanding sense of comedic timing and delivers her bon mots with aplomb. The costume, makeup and especially demeanor that Karen Shue exhibits make her ‘Dora’ rather fascinating, like looking at a bug under the microscope.
Both Whitney Alexander as the sexpot sister, and Helen Conway as the sensual nurse bring moments of mirthful eroticism to the on-stage shenanigans. The fawning solicitor is Basel Daoud and he telegraphs via dialogue and posturing all the negative stereotypes of his much-maligned profession. The male secretary character ‘Peregrine’ is played by Tyler Brown who interprets his role as an amalgam of the male members of ‘Big Bang Theory’; but with the addition of much flouncing. Readers of this scribe’s columns will recall that ‘I hate FLOUNCING’.
The costumes are descriptive; the set eloquent and imaginative; and the sound and lighting work is faultless. Given the frequency of entry and exit moments; Katherine Bignell-Jones and assistant S.M. Brian Cain are obviously right on top of their game. Otherwise, slipups would be tremendously detrimental to the on-stage progress and action.
Far be it for me to give even a hint of ‘Spoiler Alert’. Suffice to say, neither the muse nor I guessed at the ending. So, for an evening of entertainment plus some mental stimulation as to ‘whodunit; TOMB WITH A VIEW is onstage at the Kipling/Lakeshore venue until Nov. 22nd. Call 416-338-7255 for tickets.
Query: How cum ‘Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive’ can’t be found in either of our GPS’es?