THE PROVINCE
 
This Bud is for you Grinches
 
December 11, 2011. 3:07 pm ē Section: Entertainment
 
 

 

Office Christmas parties pop up a couple of times in Presentation House Theatreís production of Canadian playwright Norm Fosterís romantic comedy Old Love, but the show isnít exactly a seasonal show.

So itís a great pick for a night out  for someone whose relationship with Christmas includes broken tree ornaments, a motif that shows up in a projection as part of the showís production design.

Theatre and film stalwart Jay Brazeau directs his actor wife Suzanne Ristic and colleague Vince Metcalf as Mollie and Bud. Sixty-something and long divorced, Bud has had a thing for Mollie, his bossís wife, since an awkward Christmas party encounter decades earlier. Long since gone from that company, Bud reads that his boss has just died, so he heads to the funeral in a quixotic bid to pick up the widow.

The show means to focus on love late in life, but along the way both actors portray their characters ó and several other  characters besides ó starting as young adults and through the intervening decades. Ristic in particular has a couple of rousing transformations over just a couple of minutes in a whistle-stop tour of Budís past failed relationships.

Clever plotting and dialogue, with grace notes of drama and failed dreams, lift this piece above cheap holiday sentiment. Check it out at Presentation House, 333 Chesterfield St, North Vancouver. Showtimes are Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday matinee at 4 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Ends Dec. 18.