reviewed by Paula Citron
The Dining Room
Down ‘n’ Out Productions
Written by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Jonathan Geenen
Starring Terrence Bryant, Deborah Drakeford, Benjamin Clost, Madeleine Donohue, Michael Spasevski and Sarah Wilson
At the Campbell House until Jan. 31
A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room, which premiered in 1982 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, happens to be one of my all time favourite plays. Six actors take on many characters with all the scenes set in a dining room of an old house. The time runs before World War 11, until the modern day, and more or less from breakfast to dinner.
Gurney is to plays what John Cheevers is to short stories and John O’Hara is to novels. He writes about the north-eastern American WASP establishment as a vanishing breed. In The Dining Room, we see that decline.
Director Jonathan Geenen does err on the side of farce and satire instead of poignancy, and although the actors do tend to over-emote at times, nothing can mar the greatness of this play.
The audience was enchanted and the historic Campbell House is the perfect setting. Don’t miss it.
The Dining Room continues at the Campbell House until Jan. 31.