.GLOBE REVIEW
It's time to check into The Last Resort
Cailin Stadnyk and Kevin Aichele are front and centre in The Last Resort.
The Last Resort
Sept. 19
Globe Theatre
Jeff DeDekker Leader-Post

It turns out that The Last Resort is the perfect destination for Reginaís theatre audience. Opening the Globe Theatreís mainstage season Thursday night, The Last Resort was a thoroughly enjoyable combination of music, comedy and mystery.

Described by director Max Reimer as ďreal stew of genres,Ē The Last Resort was all that and more as the cast worked its way through witty songs and colourful dialogue spiced with hilarious double entendres.

Written by Norm Foster and first produced in 1997, The Last Resort has a mob informant hiding out with an FBI agent at a secluded lodge in Northern Saskatchewan. As other guests check into the lodge, the informant becomes convinced that a hit man is among them, ready to exact the mobís revenge. Foster, who has been referred to as Canadaís most produced playwright, got everything about the story right ó the characters are interesting, the plot of the whodunit isnít obvious and the comedy is of the highest quality.

The music plays an integral part of the production and composer Leslie Ardenís work was magical. Itís difficult enough to compose entertaining melodies yet Arden went to the next level with lyrics that are smart, witty and amusing.

In having such quality material to work with, the challenge for the cast was to measure up and deliver a performance of equal value. Itís safe to say that the cast was definitely up to the test ó their singing was impressive and the comedic timing couldnít have been any better.

The audience got to know each of the characters in the first act as they arrived at the secluded hotel: Nick Galeazzo (played by Kevin Aichele) is a mob informant in the protective custody of FBI agent Angela Miller (Cailin Stadnyk); Liz Barzini (Dawn Bergstrom) and Sid Barzini (Sheldon Davis) are enjoying a second honeymoon while celebrating their 24th anniversary; twin sisters Julia and Jessica Youngstead (Sarah Higgins) have arrived for the reading of their fatherís will; and, poet Trent Balfour (Gaelan Beatty) is hoping to overcome a seven-year bout of writerís block by finding inspiration at the resort.

While the cast as a whole was wonderfully entertaining, Jacob James stole a good portion of the show as Freda Heitz, the proprietor of The Last Resort. A good portion of the productionís comedy is farcical and nothing is more farcical than a man dressed as an elderly German woman. Heitz hosts a party with a Brazilian theme and when she (he?) enters wearing a wild ensemble and headwear featuring an assortment of fruit, one couldnít help but laugh uncontrollably at a Carmen Miranda gone wild.

The plot has a number of twists and turns, none of which can be shared in a review as spoiler alerts just donít work properly in print. The cast also included Ian Deakin as RCMP Inspector Kenneth Closely. Although he didnít make his first entrance until the second act, Deakin left a mark that would have any number of TV detectives smiling.

Joining Reimer on the artistic crew are Kelli Fox (assistant director), Scott Penner (set and costumer designer), Siobhan Sleath (lighting designer), Craig Salkeld (musical director), Kathryn Ball (stage manager) and Kenilee Kehler (assistant stage manager).

The production will run through Oct. 6. Tickets can be purchased at the Globe box office, by telephone (306-525-6400 or 1-866-954-5623) or online (www.globetheatrelive.com).

jdedekker@leaderpost.com