June 7, 2010

The Cast Comment on Cliffhanger by James Yaffe!

Kay Valentine comments on her role: "Given the choice between a drama and a comedy, I would always pick a comedy. But, working on a comedic thriller is particularly exciting. It's both challenging, because you are supposed to be quite stoic, and yet the audience is laughting their heads off. I can't say how enjoyable it's been working with Kingsley and the other members of the cast."

Dave Corbitt comments on his role: “Since I am avid fan of televised police dramas like Law & Order & CSI it is great fun to play a detective. I've even been watching some old "Columbo" shows to get some ideas for my character. Who wouldn't enjoy a role where you get your own gun and handcuffs!”

The Cast Comment on Cliffhanger by James Yaffe!

Peggy Wrightson comments on her role: “Let’s face it, I love being on stage. This is just another chance to suspend reality. My role in this play is very critical and is great fun to play. If I knew being evil could be so much fun, I wouldn't have spent so much of my life trying to be good!”

Kingsley Owen comments on his role: “Once I began to learn the role, I came to realize that I have a lot of Henry's personality traits and so I've put them to use. I tend to have my head in the clouds and ignore practicalities. I am outspoken in my theories but can be persuaded to change them. This ambivalence in Henry gives rise to both suspense and humour. While this play is an 'audience pleaser' it's not so simple to perform. It's a mystery and so the actor has to remember what he knows and what he doesn't know at any given moment in time in order to react appropriately. And, at 76 I'm 12 years older than Henry but I'm hoping the audience won't notice.”

CLIFFHANGER – A suspenseful comedy

The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of Cliffhanger by James Yaffe, the fourth play of the 2009/2010 Season. On June 11, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of the Cliffhanger, at the incredible price of only $15.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).

Director Sharon Dykstra notes: “In Cliffhanger Yaffe mixes two crowd pleasing theatrical genres: suspense and comedy to sublimely entertain the audience. As a director, working with material that is so rich and full of humour is rewarding, but I have to really thank our cast for bringing Yaffe’s imagination to life.”

Henry Lowenthal (played by Kingsley Owen), a veteran professor of philosophy at a college, and his wife Polly (played by Kay Valentine) are looking forward to Henry’s appointment to an endowed chair so that they can enjoy their golden years. But their plans are kyboshed when Henry’s successor, a malicious and ambitious woman, Edith Wilshire (played by Peggy Wrightson) decides to not recommend Henry for the chair. Henry, in a moment of poor judgement, puts himself and Polly in a predicament from which hilarious complications arise. A rather sinister young student, Melvin McMullen (played by Stephan Ermel) and a suspicious police lieutenant, Dave DeVito (played by Dave Corbitt) add to the suspense and humour.

Playwright James Yaffe, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1927, is a graduate of Yale University and is one of the most prolific American writers of the 20th century. In addition to plays, he has written novels, short stories and for television.

Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome St. Matthews United Church, B'nai Brith Canada, and York Central Hospital Volunteers as recipients of the Charity Night for Cliffhanger by James Yaffe.