Simcoe Reformer Review - Bedtime Stories


Bedtime Stories a Wake up Comedy Call!

Norm Foster's Bedtimes Stories opened the Lighthouse Festival Theatre Summer season and it just may be the funniest offering yet by the much lauded Canadian playwright.

Director Chris McHarge has skillfully crafted six scenes of comic symphony into a beautifully paced story that is quite simply a lot of fun to watch The lighting and sets are masterful, yet scene changes subtle as each bedroom is given it’s own distinctive quality yet remain familiar throughout the play.

The opening introduces us to Eddie "Nighthawk" Nichols, an ambitious radio personality who has paid the middle aged Betsy and Lou Ballantyne $5,000.00 to have sex on the air. Over the next five scenes we are introduced to total of 15 characters portrayed by the cast of five, who are all well known to Lighthouse Festival Theatre audiences with the exception of veteran television regular Ron Gabriel. Gabriel’s experience and generosity on stage are notable and he makes the most of being a loveable cherub regardless of which costume he is wearing. Melodee Finlay provides seamless transitions as Betsy, Sandy and Yolanda with her stylish humour and classic slapstick timing. Offering the darker side of the yuks is Richard Bauer as shock rocker Tommy Quick and the bedridden Derek Baumgarden. Bauer easily takes us back to the reality of how life really is when you peel off a few layers. Karen Coughlin commands the stage with her trio of characters starting as the self-absorbed, guilt ridden Susan Upchurch seeking absolution and ending with a convincing young wife struggling with her decision to leave a broken marriage. Derek Ritschel is solid as "Nighthawk" and Nick but his deadpan portrayal of strip bar owner Charlie is a classic piece of comedy playing off Finlay’s stupefying Sandy.

The production brought the house down delivering a first rate heart warming adult contemporary comedy that I already want to see again.

With a start like this, the 2007 season at Lighthouse Festival Theatre is a guaranteed hit. Bedtime Stories is not recommended for patrons under 16 years of age and runs until June 16, tickets online at or by phone (519) 583-2221.

© George Teixeira Araujo 2007


Richard Bauer and Karen Coughlin