Simcoe Times-Reformer
June 22, 2010
Lighthouse 'Looking' great!!
"Looking" Review by George Teixeira Araujo

Theatregoers are in for a load of laughs and some great performances in another fantastic Norm Foster play with "Looking" now on stage at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre.

Lighthouse artistic director Chris McHarge takes the director's chair on this gem and he wisely brings some of the Port Dover theatre's favourite actors back for his curtain call season. Melodee Finlay, Neil Foster, Heather Hodgson and Ralph Small are four of this country's finest performers and they all deliver their best in this show.

"Looking" brings us into the lives of four middle aged singles. Matt (Foster) and Andy (Small) are well into their honest years as buddies who reluctantly share their emotions and problems whenever they get together. Val (Finlay) and Nina (Hodgson), also long time friends, are similarly questioning their lives and situations with lots of opinions and advice to go around. All are "looking" for more in life. So Andy puts an ad in the personals column, Val reads the ad and sees potential. With the help of their friends as buffers, they agree to a double date starting at a downtown club named the Private Dick.

Classic situational comedy ensues with every facet of the male-female agenda, the first date insecurity scale and a fair helping of revealing self-analysis by each character. Norm Foster gives us just enough information to keep us guessing as to just where the story is headed, bringing the foursome together over and over again and often creating more dilemmas than resolutions. The humour is unrelenting and perfectly paced with accents of romance and pure passion.

Finlay, Hodgson, Small and Neil Foster each create definitive characters that bring the reality and humour to life and they work together perfectly. No surprise, given their resumes. Their chemistry is evident from lights up and rarely do we get to see such honesty and generosity between actors on stage. The cubist cityscape set is lit brilliantly by lighting designer Karen Bayer, who squeezed subtlety and warmth from the rectangular shapes and cool colours.

"Looking" has all the trademarks of a classic run that gives the audience a treat with superb performances coupled with great material that makes you feel good.

"Looking" has some coarse language. The production runs until July 3.