Box in the Wood hits the Suite spot
Lee Pulaski, firstname.lastname@example.org
If walls could talk, they’d probably tell tales like the ones in the Neil Simon comedy “London Suite.”
The play will be performed by Box in the Wood Theatre Guild for two weeks beginning Thursday, showcasing four scenes taking place in one hotel suite across the pond.
The first scene involves the Welsh novelist Brian Cronin discovering that his manager, Billy Fox, is about to run off with all of his money.
The second scene focuses on Sharon and Lauren Semple, a mother and daughter on a shopping trip. Lauren is trying to convince Sharon to go on a date with an elderly man, which the mother has no intention of doing.
The third scene is less comedic and more dramatic when divorced couple Sidney and Diana Nichols arrive. Sidney needs money from Diana to help pay the medical bills for his male lover, who is dying from cancer.
“London Suite” returns to tickling the funny bone in the final scene, when Mark and Anne Ferris, an American couple, discover their tickets for Wimbledon are nowhere to be found. Mark’s back gives out in the chaos, and to add insult to injury, the Ferrises are being asked to change suites because their current suite has been reserved for Kevin Costner.
“London Suite” has mainly adult themes, so the guild is recommending that no one under the age of 14 attend the show.
Nathaniel Madsen is back in the director’s chair after directing “Arsenic and Old Lace” last year and “M*A*S*H” in 2015. Madsen noted that even though there are four different scenes involving different groups of people, the star is the suite itself.
“The play is ultimately about relationships,” Madsen said. “It’s just about people coming together and falling apart — everyday stuff. Their stories are being told in this hotel room.”
Madsen said he likes to do different, off-beat shows, and “London Suite” seemed to fit the bill after Ryan Winn, a College of Menominee Nation professor and board member for the Shawano County Arts Council, suggested it as a potential show for the Mielke Arts Center.
“I read the script, and I loved it,” Madsen said. “I proposed it on a whim, and here we are.”
Madsen believes audiences will take away a message that, no matter how bad their lives are, there are some that are worse.
“It’s a good show and funny. It’s emotional at times,” Madsen said. “We’ve worked really hard on it.”