.Simcoe Reformer.................................................................Tuesday, May 27'th, 2008
 
Old Love in the air to open new LFT season
 
By George Teixeira Araujo
 

Brenda Bazinet and Jerry Franken in Old Love at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover
 

It's another breakaway summer season opener for Lighthouse Festival Theatre with the world premiere of Old Love, Norm Foster's latest and most unique creation.

Director Chris McHarge has removed all distractions, tightly focusing audience attention on the actors, with practically no props and a clear set. Foster's play demanded two strong and versatile actors and McHarge cast the perfect duo with Brenda Bazinet as Molly Graham and Jerry Franken as Bud Mitchell.

The story has Bud working as a salesperson for a company owned by Molly's husband, Arthur. From their first encounter at a company party, Bud becomes infatuated with Molly, who seems amused, and occasionally annoyed, by his interest. The play moves forward and back through their 25 years of sporadic encounters, mostly manufactured by Bud, with each character baring their heart and soul to the other and in poignant monologues.

Foster weaves some brilliant comedic moments at just the right times with a little dark humour at Arthur Graham's funeral and, in the second act, when, in a classic second-floor window scene, Bud and Molly not only make us laugh but remind us of how simple things can mean the most.

Bazinet and Franken bring their vast experience as actors and directors to this performance where they play a variety of characters, including grown children and grandchildren. They are flawlessly intertwined through every scene.

Bazinet expertly carves up the roles of the unattainable Molly and Bud's selfish and ambitious wife, Kitty, with a polish that shines at all the right moments.

LFT regulars will remember Jerry Franken in Ethan Claymore, but his work in Old Love is truly a masterpiece. He has the audience pulling for the determined and lovable Bud Mitchell, then, in the next moment, flips the card to portray the one-dimensional Arthur.

Eileen Earnshaw-Borghesan's set of slanting circular risers and stark white angular background work in perfect partnership with Rene Brode's amazing stage and background lighting.

Who ends up with whom is not as important as how they get together. And to get there you will have to experience Old Love at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre.

Old Love has strong language and is not recommended for patrons younger than 16. It runs until June 11. Tickets are available online at www.lighthousetheatre.com or by phone at (519) 583-2221.