If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, Sudbury Performance Group invites you to take in its dinner theatre production of “On a First Name Basis.”
Due to COVID-19 protocols implemented by Public Health Sudbury due to a surge of the virus in this area, the theatre troupe is running its shows at 50-per-cent capacity.
With the number of tickets available reduced, the Friday night show has already been sold out, but there are still some available for the Saturday night show.
“On a First Name Basis” is a 2014 two-person show by Canadian playwright Norm Foster.
The comedy is about David, a successful novelist with writer's block, who has received some devastating news he's kept to himself.
Lucy, his housekeeper of 28 years, has her own secret that she's afraid to admit. As Lucy is getting ready to end her shift, David invites her to stay and have a drink, curious about the woman who's been tending to his house all these years.
But as the night sets in and the drinks start to flow, secrets reveal themselves, for better or worse.
The Sudbury Performance Group’s production of the show stars husband and wife acting team Raymond and Helen Landry, with Raymond also taking on directing duties.
“Being that it’s still very much COVID times, my wife and I, being together in our own bubble, thought doing a two-hander would be good timing to get back into theatre,” said Raymond. “We didn’t want to spread the joy too far, so I decided to direct this.”
Raymond said he’s been involved in local theatre for the past decade, including Espanola Little Theatre, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Theatre Cambrian and now Sudbury Performance Group.
Helen has been involved with local theatre for even longer — 30 years — and her credits also involve Espanola Little Theatre, Theatre Cambrian and Sudbury Performance Group.
“We started at camp in mid-July, when we first got the script, and saw that we had a terrible ordeal in front of us in terms of learning 110 pages of dialogue between the two of us, sprinkled with a bunch of monologues in there,” Raymond said.
“We saw that it was challenging, but we thought we had time to do it.
“At first, all of SPG’s plays were going to be filmed or recorded and offered online because of COVID, but when the rules changes, they quickly shifted to trying to get to live theatre again. We’re very happy to be able to be in front of a live audience and have this play show in person.”
Raymond said “On a First Name Basis” is a typical Norm Foster comedy, with a roller-coaster ride of emotions and a misunderstandings, and a ‘feel-good’ ending.
Performances run at 6 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20 at Ukrainian National Federation. As mentioned above, tickets are already sold out for the Nov. 19 show, but there are still some left for the Nov. 20 show. Get tickets at sudburyperformance.ca.